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“GG and Mamela” Book Blog tour

GG and Mamela Blog Tour Button - FINAL


About the Book

GG and Mamela by Belinda Brock

Title: GG and Mamela | Author: Belinda Brock | Illustrator: Avi Katz | Publication Date: April 15, 2014 | Publisher: Lamb Press | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 4 to 10

Summary: This picture book celebrates the loving relationship between Lily and her great-grandmother (GG) as her life starts to slow and wind down in hospice. GG and Mamela illustrates how strength and comfort can be found through love, family and tradition. This book offers a gentle and open-ended way to start a conversation about death and dying, as well as introduce the concept of hospice care. The talented, award-winning artist, Avi Katz, provides beautifully-rendered illustrations that perfectly complement this heartwarming story. The book concludes with GG’s recipe for chicken soup and an afterword by clinical psychologist Dr. Laura Brock.



Amazon | Author Website


My review

 I was intrigued by this book when I heard what it was about: a story to make it easier to explain children about hospice care for the elderly. My daughter went to a shared-care facility with preschoolers and elderly people in need of daycare, as both children and elderly benefit greatly by the interaction. Despite this, when her Great-Great Uncle passed last year (he was our closest relative), it was a very sad and distraught time for her.

I read the book and re-read it… thinking whether to read it to my 5 year-old. I didn’t want to bring back memories from her Great-Great Uncle’s passing again, as every time his name is mentioned she breaks down in tears. After the second reading I asked her if she’d be interested in reading about a very beautiful story, but that it might make her feel very sad. She said she would.

We sat down and read the story, looking at the beautiful and colorful watercolor paintings that illustrate it. She asked several questions, and enjoyed the story very much. She did not cry at all, and her main concern at the end was understanding why the Great-Grandmother would call the little girl Mamela, when her name was Lily (we don’t like her calling people names, so she didn’t get why she was not using her name…). A few days later she said something that made me feel the overall message of the book had hit home: “You know? All my ancestors that passed, like my Great-Great Uncle, or my Great-Grand Fathers, I will never stop loving them, and they will always love me.”

So, to summarize, I think “GG and Mamela” is a very sweet book with a lot of heart and beautiful illustrations. I do recommend it very much, specially if you need a way to explain to younger children about elderly care and grieving.

Also, the book includes the recipe for GG’s chicken soup, which the author has graciously let me post here for everyone to enjoy!

GG's chicken soup
GG's original chicken soup with her secret ingredient
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  1. 1 whole chicken (preferably *kosher or Amish)
  2. 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into one-inch chunks
  3. 1 large onion, quartered
  4. 2 large celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  5. A whole, peeled sweet potato (the secret ingredient)
  6. 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into one-inch chunks (looks like a white carrot)
  7. Fresh dill, chopped (looks like green feathers)
  8. Fresh parsley, chopped
  9. Kosher salt
  10. White pepper
  11. 1 package of fine egg noodles
  1. Rinse the chicken well (inside and out) under cool, running water.
  2. Put the chicken in the pot, cover with water and bring to a light boil.
  3. Skim the foam off the top with a wide spoon and discard.
  4. Stir the soup occasionally.
  5. Once the bubbles have become white, lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
  6. Add the vegetables and seasonings and simmer, half-covered, for about 1 1/2 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  7. Remove the chicken. If using chicken in the soup, skin the pieces, cool and cut into bite-sized pieces and refrigerate.
  8. Pour the soup through a strainer to get a clear broth.
  9. Cut up the sweet potato. Refrigerate the vegetables.
  10. Cool the soup and refrigerate overnight.
  11. When You Want to Serve It
  12. Remove and discard the fat that has hardened on the surface.
  13. Reheat the soup with the vegetables. You can add the cooked chicken to the soup now.
  14. Taste the soup to see if it needs more salt.
  15. Cook the noodles by following the directions on the bag (do not cook them in the soup). Drain well.
  16. Spoon a helping of noodles in each soup bowl and then ladle in the hot soup.
  17. Sprinkle some parsley and dill in each bowl.
  18. *If you use a kosher chicken, which is salted, you will not need to be as generous with the salt.
Mami Tales https://mamitales.com/
 *I was provided a free copy of the book by its author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own*

The Early Buzz

“…simple but emotionally resonant illustrations…a nice, true-to-life touch…The book pairs an ethereal illustration with lyrical text, which truly captures the healing, transporting power of music in this setting. A welcome addition to children’s literature about death and dying.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“This book is beautifully written and illustrated. The author takes a difficult subject and weaves a story full of life lessons. The universal themes of life, death, family, loss,and chicken soup are shared through a child’s eyes and remind us that even after one dies, love remains.” ~ Jamie O’Malley, President and CEO, Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter

“GG and Mamela is a large helping of Chicken Soup for the heart and soul. It helps children cope with the death of a loved one in gentle and understanding terms. Belinda Brock has done a great service for children and parents alike.” ~ Rabbi Evan Moffic, Spiritual Leader of Congregation Solel and Author

“This is a WONDERFUL story for families who are grappling with loss, death and dying. This is a wonderful story about a special relationship between a girl and her great grandmother at the end of her beautiful life. Very moving story, perfect for children!!” ~ 5 Star Review, Laura, Goodreads


About the Author: Belinda Brock

Belinda BrockCurrently a writing coach and free-lance editor, Belinda Brock‘s background is in teaching and educational publishing. She loves the intersection of literature and art found in picture books and believes their appeal and benefit extend beyond childhood. She also enjoys farmers’ markets, dreaming up soup recipes and Meatless Mondays. Although she didn’t become a librarian as she once considered, she is the sponsor and steward of the Little Free Library in her city. She has been known to stay up past her bedtime reading. Belinda writes about literacy, children and books on her blog–grandbooking–at http://belindabrock.com and also at Highland Park Sun-Times where you can check out this great interview with Belinda.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


GG and Mamela Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

May 8

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch and Review)

Mami Tales (Review)

May 9

Cherry Mischievous (Review)

Lakshmi Gosyne (Review)

Best4Future Blog: Bringing Up Baby Bilingual (Review)

May 10

Bookworm for Kids (Review)

Bookroom Reviews (Review)

May 11

When I Grow Up I Wanna Write a Kids Book (Review)

Book Reviews & Giveaways (Review)

May 12

WS Momma Readers Nook (Review)

Victoria Simcox’s Blog (Review)

May 13

4 The Love of Books (Review)

Sweet Little Pretties (Review)

Alwaysjoart (Review)

May 14

Generation iKid (Review)

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

May 15

Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock (Review)

Brooke Blogs (Review)

May 16

Books Direct (Review)

Unschooling Momma (Review)

May 17

Nanna Three and Counting (Review)

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

May 18

Amanda’s Books and More (Review)

Spark and Pook (Review)

May 19

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys (Review)

Mixed Bag Mama (Review)

May 20

Tracey M. Cox, Author & Reviewer (Review)

Sunshine, Bubbles and Books (Review)

May 21

Oh My Bookness (Review)

Reading Authors (Review)


* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: June 6, 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, Belinda Brock 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.

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About Erika

Worked in film and TV for several years before having my two wonderful children. Now I try to bring that creative input into my home to raise my kids. Hope you enjoy following this journey!
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  1. Omigosh! Your review brought tears to my eyes! It’s so amazing how children process these things and then come back to you. That is so powerful! I’m so glad you shared the book with your daughter as it seems to have really hit home for her. The author will be so pleased to see this. Thank you so much for sharing your experience in the GG and Mamela Blog Tour. I’ll have to try that recipe – we love soup in our house and I’ve never tried putting sweet potato in a chicken soup. That would totally change the flavor. 🙂

  2. erika, i really enjoyed reading all the reviews of my book that came out of this blog tour. i do have to say, though, that i found yours special. the process of writing the book and working with the illustrator was satisfying to me, but the greatest satisfaction is in having a child connect to the story and find it helpful. i appreciate your sharing your story and i hope you got to enjoy the chicken soup!

    • Belinda, thank you so much for your kind words! And thank you too for the beautiful book you created. I completely know what you’re talking about. I’m a film director, and one of my most beautiful moments was when my baby brother (back then 2 years-old) said a very simple, but to the point, thing about a short for children I had done — his words were the best compliment anyone could have said to me. I yet have to try the soup, as it is a very large amount and good to feed a battalion! But I will definitely try it! Thanks again for sharing your book.

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