Book Review & Giveaway: The Lizard Who Loves a Blizzard by Shelley Larkin & Michael John Sullivan

Book Title:  The Lizard Who Loves A Blizzard by Shelley Larkin and Michael John Sullivan
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7), 36 pages
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publisher:  Magic Everywhere Inc. 
Release date:  September 2021
Content Rating:  Rated G. Suitable for everyone

Book Description:

Larry the Lizard has always dreamed of snow. The only problem is, he lives in Australia. Find out what happens when a lizard gets a very silly idea… and it finally comes true. Join Larry and his friends as they skid, skate, slide and have an adventure in this wonderful ride. ​


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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from iRead Book Tours. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Larry the Lizard never gives up hope no matter what everyone else says. He stays positive and even though he’s wishing for the near impossible, children will want to cheer him on.

This is a cute book with colorful illustrations. It has a story of hope and keeping faith that your dreams will come true which is a good lesson for children. It is told in rhymes, but the rhymes felt forced. The Lizard Who Loves a Blizzard is a good story that would be even better if it was told without the rhyming.

About the Authors

Michael John Sullivan

Michael John Sullivan is the co-creator of The Lizard Who Loves a Blizzard, Nick Knitley and The SockKids. He is also co-developing three other animation series, including the Dr. Neverme and Dinomike projects. Sullivan has written several children’s books, including a Digimon series book with HarperCollins Publishing. In addition, Michael has written five novels, receiving awards and best-selling status. His first book, Necessary Heartbreak, was published by Simon & Schuster and was named by the prestigious Library Journal as one of the best books in 2010. Sullivan previously advocated for the homeless, drawing off of his own experience of riding the New York City trains at night for one winter. He has written articles about the plight for CNN.com, The Washington Post website, The Huffington Post, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Patch.com. Before he took up living among his animated characters, Michael worked for ESPN, Rival.com, Scout.com, and the Sporting News, covering high school and college basketball. He is a former board member of the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. 

Shelley Larkin

Shelley Larkin is the co-creator of The Lizard Who Loves a Blizzard, Nick Knitley and The SockKids, and is co-developing other animation series with Michael, including the Dr. Neverme and Dinomike projects. Shelley is involved in all aspects of the animation ventures, including marketing and promotions, and merchandising of books, videos and other products.One of Shelley’s passions is the Destination Imagination (DI) worldwide learning program for kids K-12, where she served as Director in the greater Sacramento area. Focused on creative problem-solving techniques, hundreds of thousands of children are served by the program each year, supported by thousands of volunteers. Shelley was presented with the DI Spirit of Discovery Award in recognition of her outstanding commitment and devotion to the global program. Michael and Shelley’s initial collaboration was co-authoring a children’s short story, “The Sock Kids Stand Up Against Bullying”, a nationally distributed book developed in concert with Destination Imagination. This story creates awareness of an important life lesson for children, and shows how The SockKids can deliver these messages through animation and books. ​


connect with the authors: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodread

Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of The Lizard Who Loves a Blizzard (one winner/USA only)

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Tour Schedule

Jan 4 –Cover Lover Book Review – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 5 –Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 5 – Booking with Janelle – book review
Jan 6 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 7 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Jan 7 – Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 10 – My Bookish Bliss – book review
Jan 11 – Sandra’s Book Club – book review / giveaway
Jan 11 – Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 12 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Jan 12 – @twilight_reader – book review
Jan 13 – Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book review / giveaway
Jan 13 – The Phantom Paragrapher – book review / giveaway
Jan 14 – Kam’s Place – book review
Jan 18 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 20 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 – Westveil Publishing – book review / giveaway
Jan 21 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 24 – Reading is My Passion – book review / giveaway
Jan 24 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight
Jan 25 – The Adventure of a Traveler’s Wife – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 – Triquetra Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
​Jan 26 – icefairy’s Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Jan 27 – The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
Jan 28 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Jan 28 – I’m Into Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 31 – Books for Books – book review
Jan 31 – Lisa’s Reading – book review / giveaway

Book Review: Facts Book for Kids about Dinosaurs by Rob Willis

Did you know that Tyrannosaurus had teeth six inches long, or that the long-necked Brachiosaurus was as tall as a 15-story building? Would you believe that dragons actually existed?

Dig into this stunning encyclopedia about Dinosaurs and discover many more interesting things.

T. rex, Triceratops, Pterosaurs, Stegosaurus and many more!

This book is jam-packed with fascinating facts about how they lived, and the evidence they left behind. Learn how dinosaurs and birds are connected, and discover the biggest prehistoric mysteries that scientists are still trying to crack.

Inside the pages of this bold and exciting book, you’ll find:

◆ Many fun facts about the prehistoric world which kids will be bursting to share with their friends.

◆ Everything there is to know about a variety of incredible dinosaurs.

◆ Hours of fun and educative reading.

This book is perfect for home or for school.

✓ It’s a great gift for any curious reader.

✓ It’s a way to expand your kids’ minds.

✓ It’s an incredible book for passing time on long journeys and in boring waiting rooms.

✓ It’s a unique family bonding experience, as much fun for the biggest members of the household as it is for the littlest. In this book, you’ll discover a new way to strengthen your family bonds.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what interests you generally have, this book can be enjoyed by everyone.

The unique encyclopedia introduces a huge variety of record-breaking facts about dinosaurs in mind-blowing detail.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

What a great book! There are a LOT of interesting facts about dinosaurs. For example, the word dinosaur means terrible reptiles, but terrible in a good way such as amazing or formidable. Dinosaur fossils have been found on all of the continents and several dozen new species are found every year.

Facts Book for Kids about Dinosaurs is a children’s book that adults will find interesting too. It gives up-to-date information about what is known as of now, but a lot of these facts could change. For example, the smallest dinosaur and the biggest dinosaur could change with the next fossil discovery.

I have a great-nephew who is really into dinosaurs, and he’ll love this book. I know what I’m getting him for his next birthday!

Fact no. 6 from the book

About the Author

Hello!

I’m Rob and I love writing books for kids. I absolutely adore and am inspired by books and children and education and so have spent some 15 years writing and editing and brainstorming books for readers ages 4 and up. I have four children and they are my first readers.

When I’m not writing new books for kids, you can find me outside, gardening, biking or camping with my family and friends. Because I enjoy traveling, and spending time outdoors.

Book Review: My Way to Kindness by Elizabeth Cole

Would you like to raise your child a kind and polite person? Would you like to teach your kid such social skills as empathy, compassion, inclusion, respect, gratitude, and sharing? Then you are at the right place! This lovely kindness book for kids will help you for sure!

Is your child usually kind and polite, but still behaves a bit rude sometimes? Well, everyone might fail to be kind once in a while. Kindness is a very complex skill that requires many social manners. This kids book about kindness will take your child to a magical dreamland of sweets. Boys and girls will surely like the adventures of little Melissa and her new adorable friends.

This social-emotional book for kids:

  • teaches children to respect elders, help others, share toys, say “thank you”, accept diversity and other social manners
  • offers children many examples of kind and polite behavior
  • contains lovely illustrations and a lightly rhyming storyline
  • suitable both for preschool kids ages 3 to 5, as well as the older ones of 6-10 years old
  • contains a number of funny characters such as muffin, gingerbread, brownie and donut  

There are many books about big emotions available. However, what makes this picture book stand out from other emotion books for kids is a clear message about what kindness means as well as numerous useful examples of kind deeds and true friendship.

Even if you have tried many similar feelings books for kids, this story about little Melissa will surely be an excellent addition to a toolkit!

So, wait no more and take your child on this exciting adventure story about kindness!

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read a few of Elizabeth Cole’s books including My way to keep anger away so I was pretty sure that this would be another great children’s book.

Melissa is usually a sweet and kind girl, but no one is perfect. When she forgets to say thank you and then forgets to do a chore as she promised her mom she would, her teddy bear decides to take her on a journey in her dreams to teach her about being kind to others.

The story is told in rhymes and the illustrations are cute and colorful. It encourages children to use their imaginations as well as teaching them ways to be kind.

About the Author

Being a mother of two kids Elizabeth Cole very well understands that childhood is a great period of life filled with a tremendous amount of different and often changing emotions. Since the time Elizabeth received her master’s degree in psychology from University of New Orleans in 2008, she fully devoted herself to the research of kids, understanding their needs as well as their true emotions. Her five years period of working as the school teacher very much improved Elizabeth’s knowledge and motivated her even stronger. Finally, all of her experience inspired Elizabeth to write a series of children’s books.

Learn more at ecole-author.com or email Elizabeth at elizabethcole.author@gmail.com!

Audiobook Review: Our Dried Voices by Greg Hickey

In 2153, cancer was cured.

In 2189, AIDS.

And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a distant planet to begin the next chapter of humanity.

Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence.

With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a bright young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his determined friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue humanity.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The idea that the human race gets lazy because everything is provided to them is interesting and probably spot on. From what I witness these days, if everything was provided for us, it wouldn’t take long for most people to devolve.

The main characters, Samuel and Penny, aren’t very well developed but that’s as it should be. The way Samuel solved problems was interesting, but there was too much detail/focus on those tasks.

It took me a while to get used to listening to the dialogue in Our Dried Voices. The narrator did a good job, but it was hard to get used to the way the people communicated with each other.

The book starts slowly, and I kept waiting for it to pique my interest, but it wasn’t until the last few chapters that I really got into the book. I’m glad I read Our Dried Voices, but it’s not a book I’d pick up to read a second time.

About the Author

Author of entertaining stories for smart readers. Download the short novel The Theory of Anything for free at https://www.greghickeywrites.com/anything-amazon.

Greg Hickey wrote his first novel, Our Dried Voices, while spending a year in Sundsvall, Sweden and Cape Town, South Africa, playing and coaching for local baseball teams. That novel was published in 2014 and was a finalist for Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Science Fiction Book of the Year Award.

Today, he still loves sharing stories while staying busy with the other facets of his life. He is a forensic scientist by day and endurance athlete and author by nights, lunches, weekends and any other spare moments. After his post-college travels, he once again lives in his hometown of Chicago with his wife, Lindsay.

Website: http://www.greghickeywrites.com/
Twitter: greghickey5

Book Review: Dangers & Empty Mangers by Trixie Silvertale

A frozen cheesemaker. A vandalized Nativity. Can our psychic sleuth serve up justice before she’s iced?

Mitzy Moon might be getting too comfortable. Her love life is satisfying, her family is supportive, and her extra senses are becoming more reliable. But, before she can bask in that glow, a suspicious death and a missing Messiah threaten to spoil the New Year…

Sniffing out the murderer of a local cheesemaker should be her guiding star, but there’s nothing as upsetting as a stolen baby Jesus. And with the trail growing smellier than a ripe Limburger, she’s desperate for help from her supernatural supporting cast. Unfortunately, with her powers now leading her in circles, she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Can Mitzy peel the rind off the culprit before she’s prematurely aged?

Dangers and Empty Mangers is the seventeenth book in the hilarious paranormal cozy mystery series, Mitzy Moon Mysteries. If you like snarky heroines, supernatural misfits, and a dash of romance, then you’ll love Trixie Silvertale’s heartfelt whodunits.

Amazon

My Review

Mitzy Moon is at it again. Her sheriff boyfriend asks her to find the missing Jesus from a manger scene which she is happy to do, but she is also investigating a death that a friend asks her to look into. He thinks it’s murder, and she’s determined to help him find justice.

This is book 17 in the series, and I almost feel like a citizen of Pin Cherry Harbor. There are so many great characters here. Mitzy is hilarious as usual. Her clumsiness tickles me, maybe because I can relate to it so well. Her boyfriend, Erick, has to be the best boyfriend in the history of boyfriends. Mitzy’s inherited caracal, Pyewacket, is possibly my favorite character. He’s always giving important clues to Mitzy and seems to understand everything that is said.

Even though Mitzy’s supernatural powers are on the fritz because of pain meds for a sprained ankle, she’s able to solve both cases with the help of those around her…and an intervention by her grandma.

I love this series! Many series tend to get stale by the time they make it to book 17, but this one keeps getting better. Each book has a satisfying ending, but I’m always looking forward to finding out what Mitzy gets into next.

About the Author

Trixie Silvertale grew up reading an endless supply of Lillian Jackson Braun, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novels. She loves the amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries and is obsessed with all things paranormal. Those two passions unite in her Mitzy Moon Mysteries, and she’s thrilled to write them and share them with you.

When she’s not consumed by writing, she bakes to fuel her creative engine and tends to her herb garden.

Website: http://www.trixiesilvertale.com

Book Review: The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince: Everybody’s Good at Something by Prince A. Sanders

The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince: Everybody’s Good at Something, The sequel to Which Forks First, is based on actual events from Prince A Sanders’ life. This story embodies two major themes that are commonly faced in today’s society; The journey to discovering one’s personal talent or skill while having the courage to do what they love, even when being bullied.

Everybody’s Good at Something shows the unwavering love of a Mother who guides and encourages her son with a little help from his furry pet hamster, Popcorn. Overall this book empowers young children to have confidence when they don’t quite fit in. Today’s youth must be encouraged, supported, and loved for themselves as they discover their purpose.

Prince A Sanders is passionate about the social development of children and empowering them, through story, to handle some of life’s more difficult lessons.

The perfect book for parents, grandparents, teachers and any adult that cares about the challenges of today’s youth. Everybody’s Good at Something is written for children of all ages.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from Smith Publicity. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Prince is a boy who isn’t sure what his passion is yet. His brother is good at sports and tries to help Prince at different sports, but even though he likes them, he’s not good at them. When he sees a ballet, he knows that he wants to dance, and he’s good at it!

Prince’s story teaches that we’re all good at something, we just need to figure out what it is. It also doesn’t matter what others think about it. Prince is bullied by other kids because they don’t understand. His mom gave him good advice about dealing with the bullies.

The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince: Everybody’s Good at Something is a great book for teaching children that we are all good at something, and we shouldn’t let anyone get in the way of following our dreams.

About the Author

Prince A Sanders is a former classical ballet dancer and current hospitality professional. A native New Yorker, Prince A Sanders lives in Westchester County, New York with his family.

Book Review: ¡Mi Comunidad! My Community! by 123 Andrés

An endearing new dual-language book, ¡Mi comunidad! • My Community! celebrates community helpers, with two companion songs (Spanish and English) to read and sing together. ¡Mi comunidad! • My Community! is a joyful walk around the community to get to know people who help us stay safe, learn and thrive. With vibrant illustrations by Puerto Rican artist Mónica Paola Rodriguez, the book includes a glossary of community helper roles to jump start conversations at home and school about the many ways people help and serve others. The brand new songs, “My Community” and “Mi Comunidad,” are available exclusively via the QR code included in the back of the book.

¡Mi comunidad! es un libro emotivo y lleno de vida en español y en inglés, que celebra a los ayudantes de la comunidad. El libro viene acompañado por dos canciones nuevas – una en cada idioma – para leer y cantar en familia. Con ¡Mi Comunidad! nos paseamos por nuestra comunidad y conocemos a algunas de las personas que nos ayudan a estar a salvo, a aprender y a seguir adelante.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from Smith Publicity. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This children’s book about community is written in both Spanish and English. Whichever language you know, and whichever one you don’t know, it’s a great resource to start learning. I learned a little Spanish in school years ago, but I plan on reading this book several times to my grandkids so that we can start to learn a little Spanish together.

The illustrations are eye catching and colorful and will keep children’s attention. There is more information at the end of the book including a link to music. Even better, everything at the end of the book is also in both languages. I can’t wait to share this book with my grandkids tomorrow!

About the Authors

Andrés and Christina are the Latin Grammy-winning music duo 123 Andrés. Their catchy songs and lively concerts get the whole family dancing and learning, in Spanish and English.

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Book Review: Dodos are not Extinct! by Paddy Donnelly

A hilarious, engaging primer on famous extinct–but never forgotten– animals that will keep kids giggling and guessing on every page, perfect for fans of Brendan Wenzel’s Hello Hello and Mo Willems’ Edwina.

Psst! Hey you! Can you keep a secret?
Dodos are NOT extinct!
In fact, if you look extra closely, you might be able to spot other extinct animals . . . like woolly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and even dinosaurs! These famous creatures are in disguise everywhere, so keep your eyes peeled! You never know who might be right under your nose.

Author-illustrator Paddy Donnelly delivers a silly, animal-filled read that is perfect for story time sharing at home or for the classroom. Nonfiction back matter jam-packed with facts about the endangered and extinct animals featured in the story makes this creative book as educational as it is fun.

Available on Amazon on Feb. 8, 2022

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Dodos are not Extinct! is a silly book that claims that many extinct animals like Dodos aren’t extinct, they’re just hiding in plain sight. Many wear disguises which are expensive, so it suggests that one of the top surgeons is a velociraptor!

This is a fun read for children. They’ll giggle at the silliness, but they’ll learn about extinct animals at the same time! The illustrations are colorful and as silly as the words. The last page lists several extinct animals and when the last known animal of their species died.

I definitely recommend Dodos are not Extinct! It’s my favorite type of children’s book…having fun reading while learning at the same time.

About the Author

Paddy Donnelly is an award-winning Irish author and illustrator of picture books. Now living in Belgium, he works in a range of illustration styles and his debut author illustrated picture book, ‘The Vanishing Lake’, won the Gold Medal in the Picture Books category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2021. He was nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for his picture book with Jeanne Willis – ‘Hom’. He wishes Pluto was still a planet.

Book Review: Gateway: Pioche by Jeff Dawson and Larry Welch

June 2016—Stanford, Ca. GRADUATION for Muki, Abdul, Larry and Judith. Six years of cramming for finals and pursuing double master’s degrees has finally paid off. It’s time for them to enjoy the fruits of their labor. A trip to Las Vegas and the blackjack tables before entering the word of commerce and research.

Their good fortune at the tables doesn’t go unnoticed by the local mob boss, Nathan Francisco, who decides, “What money comes to Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Instead of enjoying their winnings, the graduates become engaged in a hair-raising, life-threatening pursuit through the sleepy town of Pioche, Nevada. Eluding their pursuers, they wind up northeast of town at an abandoned military complex. Not wanting to tempt fate, they decide to stay put for a day and explore the complex.

What and who they find could unravel the truths surrounding the most debated conspiracies of the past—who shot John Fitzgerald Kennedy, what happened to Judas Iscariot after betraying Jesus, did America really land on the moon in 1969. And finally, will Judith Anderson be able to purge her family’s ties to the Third Reich when she comes face-to-face with her great-grand father Martin Bormann?

Prepare for the most riveting tale of time travel!

Note: This book contains strong language. Not recommended for children under 13.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Muki, Abdul, Larry and Judith are students at Stanford who are geniuses (geeks) and decide to go on vacation before starting work. They choose Vegas and learn how to count cards from Larry. They’re not just going to play blackjack, they’re going to win at blackjack. Unfortunately, they win enough money to get noticed by the mob and end up running from them and into an adventure like no other.

The characters are different and fairly well developed. Judith is not likeable at all, and I’m guessing that the only reason she hangs out with the geeks is that no one else wants to be around her. I wouldn’t be able to stand being around Abdul for very long. I like the old Star Trek but enough is enough! Muki and Larry seem closer to normal, although Muki does have a kickass side that is way better than normal.

It took me a while to get into this book, but there were many interesting and exciting parts such as each time the “graduates” traveled back in time. When they were being chased by the mob was intense. Unfortunately, there were a lot of slower moments in between including scientific information that was a little too in depth for me but that’s a personal preference.

I am going to read the next book in the series, Destination DC, soon because I have to know what happens next!

About the Author

Mr. Dawson was involved in the road construction business for over twenty-five years. He endured great highs and lows: fathered three children, went through a divorce, two failed business ventures, bankruptcy, multiple surgeries and a reunification with his high school sweetheart, Debbie, who he would kiss goodbye for the last time seven months later.

His last surgery in 2010 forced him to temporarily exit the construction industry. With one career behind him, he ventured into a new one—writing. The first stories he wrote are real life scenarios dealing with losing loved ones to cancer: his partner, father and Debbie. These works are both honest and heart-warming. He holds nothing back as he allows readers to look deep into the psyche of one who has loved and lost so much.

He has also written books in the following genres: science/fiction, time travel, Baseball coaching manuals, horror, poetry, alternative history and erotica.

He currently lives in the DFW area spending time with friends and family.

Book Review: Milo’s Moonlight Mission by Kathleen M. Blasi

The most spectacular night skies are revealed when we plan for the ideal moment–with loved ones by our sides. This heartwarming tale is perfect for space fans and young budding astronauts!
When the weather forecast predicts a middle-of-the-night meteor storm, Captain Milo wants desperately to witness it. But will his Second-in-Command have enough time to accomplish this important mission with him?

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Milo has a great imagination, and he wants his mom to pretend to go to space with him as his second in command. Unfortunately, his mom ends up being too busy that day, but she has a surprise for him the next morning. They get up early and witness the Leonid Meteor Storm!

Milo’s Moonlight Mission is a cute book that encourage imagination. At the end, it explains the difference between meteor showers and meteor storms (I learned something new), and it gives information about the occurrences of Leonid showers and storms in November.

Children will enjoy the story about Milo getting to see an exciting meteor storm. It’s a good book for parent and child to read together.

About the Author

Kathleen M. Blasi enjoys shining a light on the stories of everyday heroes. Active in the children’s writing community, she is a former Co-Director of the Rochester Children’s Book Festival, for which she received the 2015 New York State Reading Association Literacy Advocate Award. Kathleen lives with her family in Upstate New York, where, through writing workshops, she fosters the curiosity of young storytellers.

Visit her online at kmblasi.com and on Twitter- @kmblasi.