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Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER! by Jeff Cohen

30 Jun

evaEva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER!
By Jeff Cohen
Illustrated by Elanna Allen
32 pages – ages 5+
Published by HarperCollins on June 3, 2014

Eva and Sadie are sisters. Eva’s hair is long and curly. Sadie thinks that it is too long, too curly, and too much of a bother. It is practically impossible to tame! Then, Sadie had an idea – why not give Eva a haircut? Awesome idea, right? Maybe not so much…

An NPR radio reporter, Jeff Cohen has 2 little girls, Sadie, 5, and Eva, 3. He interviewed his kids after a disastrous hair cutting incident. Click HERE to go to the original interview (it’s hilarious). Apparently the interview went viral and Mr. Cohen turned the story into a very cute picture book. The story is very well-written, and has a great message. The message that Sadie learns is “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them, and try not to do them again.” Sadie and Eva are great characters, ones you can relate with - after all who hasn’t done something like this when you were little?  Ms. Allen’s illustrations put the finishing touch on the book, like the whipped cream and cherry on the sundae. I think children will love learning from Eva and Sadie’s mistake. :)

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Check out the trailer!

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday Turns 100! Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt

13 Jun

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because the idea is totally fun and I think a lot of kids are scared about starting kindergarten.

planetkindergartenPlanet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
Illustrated by Shane Prigmore
40 pages – ages 3+
Published by Chronicle Books on May 20, 2014

Theme/Topic- Starting School / Confidence

Genre- Non-fiction

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Opening and Synopsis- (Taken from the inside jacket)

“Today is Liftoff.

‘You are well prepared.’ says Dad.

Mom Counts down.

Into the rocket ship…

The boosters fire, and we launch.

I’m off to

PLANET KINDERGARTEN!

“Publisher’s Summary – This clever picture book will prepare young explorers to boldly go where they have never gone before: Planet Kindergarten. Suit up for a daring adventure as our hero navigates the unknown reaches and alien inhabitants of this strange new world. Hilarious and confidence-boosting, this exciting story will have new kindergarteners ready for liftoff!”

 

Why I liked this book-
I LOVED this book! It’s all about a kid pretending to go on a space mission to a strange new world – Planet Kindergarten! This is an awesome book to add to your back-to-school list. If you are a kindergarten or pre-school teacher or if you have kids that are going to start kindergarten, I recommend this book. Starting school or going somewhere different can be pretty scary. I love how Ms. Ganz-Schmitt uses imagination and pretend play to help her character overcome his fears. It is great how Ms. Ganz-Schmitt relates everything that happens (or could happen) on the first day of kindergarten to a space adventure. For example when the boy meets the “Commander” she tells everyone how gravity works different on Planet Kindergarten and everyone must work really hard to stay in their seats – funny! :) The book shows that starting kindergarten can be scary but it is a fabulous and fun adventure too. Shane Prigmore’s illustrations are perfect for the story. Just look at one -

planet2The colors and shapes add so much to the outer-space theme of the book. I love how some of the kids are drawn to look alien-ish. The book is just awesome!

Activities and Resources-

I think pretend play is a great idea to get a kid over fears of doing something new like going to kindergarten. A great activity to get a kid ready for school is just what the author did in this book. Pretend play kindergarten with your kids to help them know what to expect.

Visit the classroom early (teachers are there before school starts). I know my sister got scared about school and her teacher let my mom take her to visit the school to show her around and see everything before school started.

The I Can Teach My Child blog has a great resource on how to prepare your kid for Kindergarten. Click HERE to get it.

Like Planet Kindergarten on Facebook HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Ganz-Schmitt, please visit her website HERE.

Follow Planet Kindergarten on Twitter HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Check out these fun picture books!

11 Jun

 Today I have a three fun picture books I want to tell you about that will make great summer reading for your kids!
latelylilyLately Lily: The Adventures of a Travelling Girl Hardcover
by Micah Player
Series: Lately Lily
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Chronicle Books on March 25, 2014

Opening and Synopsis -

“Bonjour! Ciao! Hola! Hello!

I’m Lily the Travelling Girl.”

Lily and her best friend, Zeborah travel all over the world and explore new and exciting places! Go travel with Lily as she rides on boat, trains, planes and even camels. The world is a beautiful place with lots to discover and friends to be made.

What I thought- The story is cute. It shows Lily all over the world doing all sorts of things. The story shows Lily’s excitement for all she is doing.  I like that Lily writes all of her adventures down in her notebook. What I REALLY like about the book is the artwork. It really shows Lily’s excitement for all she is doing. Take a look at an interior page -

lily2

All the illustrations are this great. Micah Player is the Creative Director of the children’s clothing company – Lately Lily.

The book is perfect for summer time travel! :)

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms.fourbooks

Check out the book’s trailer!

Check out the Lately Lily website HERE.

Lately Lily on Facebook HERE.

Follow Lately Lily on Twitter HERE.

 
jumping-jack_9781452131528_largeJumping Jack
by Germano Zullo

Illustrated by Albertine

Ages 5 +- 40 pages
Published by Chronicle Books on May 13, 2014

Synopsis (taken from the inside jacket)

“Jumping Jack is a winner! At least, he used to be. Now this superstar show-jumping champion is stumbling and tumbling all over the course like a colt just learning how his legs work. How could this happen? What could possibly be wrong? Jumping Jack’s best friend and rider, Rodger Trotter, is determined to find out.”

What I thought-  Here is another picture book with fabulous illustrations! I love  Albertine’s style! JumpingJack_INT_Mechs.inddThe story in the book is very cute too. I love how Jack’s best friend Rodger just won’t give up on him and sticks by him until they figure out what is wrong. It’s a nice tale of friendship, persevering  and not giving up. I think it would be good for kids who play sports and get into a “slump”  and have to work through it.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Okay this one isn’t exactly a picture book, but it is a book about drawing pictures. I think it is very cool and it will keep kids busy for hours!

doodledesignPhotoplay: Doodle. Design. Draw.

by M. J. Bronstein

ages 5+ – 128 pages
Published by Chronicle Books on March 4, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Opening (from first page) -

“WHAT MIGHT YOU DO WITH THIS BOOK?

Draw right on top of the Photographs? Yes!

Design something that seems goofy or impossible? Yes!

Color outside of the lines? Yes!

Laugh out loud at my photographs? Yes!”

Laugh out loud at your own drawings? Why not?!”

What I thought- Give me a pencil! Ms. Bronstein is a professional photographer and an art educator at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. She packed this book with photographs or parts of photographs she has taken from around the world. The reader is supposed to complete the photographs!

photoplay2

That’s completely cool! There is 128 pages of doodling fun in the book. I think it’d be great for car rides or rainy days. It is very creative and lets your imagination run wild. Kids of any age kid will love this! I like that Ms. Bronstein mixes up the photographs -  animals – buildings – landscape – people – objects – pretty much anything you can think of. There are blurbs on each page meant as a prompt as what to draw (or at least get your imagination going).  photoplay3

Get ready for hours of fun!

I give Photoplay five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Ms. Bronstein and Photoplay, please visit her website HERE!

Check out the trailer!

Check out this video showing some completed Photoplay called “No Life Without Water” – a project to bring a water well to Sudan.

Perfect Picture Book Friday! ABC, Adoption & Me by Gayle H. Swift

6 Jun

WOO HOO! Today is not only my last day of sixth grade, it is also the 100th posting of PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY! YAY! (although, technically, we aren’t celebrating until next week, because Ms. Hill (the creator) is giving a talk on writing and is extremely busy. :) )

Let’s celebrate – I brought donuts!

donut

Photo credit wikipedia

 

PLUS! I get to announce the MARVELOUS MS. MORRIS of Kid Lit Reviews won my  giveaway copy of Chengdu! WOO!

chengdu

Congratulations Ms. Morris! I will email you for your mailing address!

Now on to – PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY!!!

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I think this is a great book on adoption that is very easy for kids to understand.

abcABC, Adoption & Me — a Multi-cultural Picture Book for Adoptive Families
By Gayle H. Swift with Casey Anne Swift
Illustrated by Paul Griffin
36 pages - ages 4+
Published by WRB Publishing on July 1, 2013

Theme/Topic- Adoption

Genre- Non-fiction

Opening and Synopsis-

A is for adoption. Some families come together through adoption, mine did.”

Summary taken from amazon description – “ABC, Adoption & Me, explores adoption from the child’s point of view. It celebrates the blessing of family and addresses the difficult issues as well. With exuberant illustrations and a diverse representation of families, ABC, Adoption & Me deepens the understanding of what it means to be an adoptive family. It provides talking points that bring families closer, and presents adoption as a safe topic. Kids report that ABC, Adoption & Me expresses their complicated feelings in a way that makes them feel normal and which makes it easy for them to discuss with their families. “Most adoption books only talk about the good part of adoption. ABC shows adoption from the kid’s side.”

Why I liked this book- First of all (for those who don’t know) I am adopted and so I like it when I see an adoption book done really well. I really like that the book shows the huge diversity in adoptive families. It also covers all kinds of questions, issues and happy things too. Being adopted myself, some of the issues I could relate to (like “R is for real. My birth parents and my adoptive parents are all real.” I personally don’t like it when someone asks who my “real” parents are. Last time I got grounded my parents really felt real to me. ;) ) while others I haven’t had experience with, but I am sure other kids/families have. The book also gives respect to birth parents which is a nice addition. The book is written in a way that makes it easy for kids to understand. I think it is a great book for families to read together.

Activities and Resources-

I didn’t have to go far for a resource, there is a parent guide right in the front of the book. It gives helpful advice for parents about how to talk to their kids about being adopted.

ChildWelfare.gov  has a huge list of teacher resources listed HERE for having lesson plans when you have adopted kids in class.

You can follow Gayle Swift on Twitter HERE.

Like the ABC Adoption & Me Facebook page HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Edmund Pickle Chin Blog Tour ! Great Book – Great Prizes!

2 Jun

It’s a blog tour! Not just any blog tour, but one for a wonderful picture book about an unusual rescue animal. Meet Edmund Pickle Chin!

edmund-cover-600x900 (1)Edmund Pickle Chin
by Clara Bowman-Jahn and Susan April Elwood
Illustrated by Lynne Bendoly
36 pages – ages 4+
Published by eTreasures Publishing 2014

Summary from the publisher- “Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story is based on a true story. Edmund, the main character, is an abused donkey who is the first of many animals to call Evermay Farm, a small rescue in central Georgia, home. Susan, Edmund’s care giver in the story, not only gives the shy donkey the time and patience he needs but gives him a new name every day of the week. The title takes on one of those nicknames she so lovingly calls him. As Susan starts to take in new critters, Edmund finds himself changing. As his name grows, so does his trust and acceptance. Edmund soon learns that he is not only needed but wanted. This confused, frightened donkey’s life changes as he becomes a hero, a babysitter, and a companion to the other residents at Evermay Farm.   “

Today I get to interview the authors of the excellent story, Clara Bowman-Jahn and Susan April Elwood!

First up – Ms. Bowman-Jahn!

Clara Bowman-Jahn author photo(1)

Erik – How did you and Ms. Elwood get connected and decide to write a book together?

Ms. Bowman-Jahn – I know Susan from when our kids were in preschool together and she was a great help to me right after my late husband died. She found me on facebook and we connected around Annie’s Special Day. We started talking about her farm for rescue animals and somehow the topic of writing a picture book about it was brought up. She sent me a synopsis of something she had written and after a lot of work and rounds with my critique groups we had a book.

Erik – Was it hard to write a children’s story that had to tell a tale about abuse of an animal (Edmund) and how scared the animal was without getting too scary for kids?

Ms. Bowman-Jahn - The words had to be chosen with care and were changed several times but the only time we actually say Edmund was abused was in the very beginning.

Erik – I noticed the little girl in the book is named Susan. Is she based on Ms. Elwood?

Ms. Bowman-Jahn - Yes, all the way. Ms Elwoods name is Susan April Elwood. I Just made her a child so  kids could relate.

Erik – What is the next project you are going to tackle?

Ms. Bowman-Jahn - I am busy submitting several picture book manuscripts and writing a memoir. And of course promo and marketing for Edmund Pickle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story is taking up a big chunk of time. 

Thank you Ms. Bowman-Jahn! Now lets hear from Ms. Elwood!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Erik – A lot of kids think about rescue animals being dogs or cats (we just adopted a rescue basset hound named Clyde and he is awesome). I like that your book and your farm deals with rescuing all kinds of farm animals. What do you hope kids learn about rescues from your book?

 Ms. Elwood - This is a great questions Erik!  Most children aren’t exposed to the fact that rescues for critters outside of the “ family type pet” exist and are needed, in fact there are rescues for almost every type of animal.

From the book itself, I hope children learn kindness and compassion toward all animals (and each other). Fad pets, such as tea pot pigs and miniature horses are cute and desirable, but when the cost and novelty wear off they often are neglected. My hope is that teachers and parents will go a step further and teach children animals are NOT disposable like an unwanted toy. Responsibility of an animal, is the life span of the critter.

 Erik - How long did it take for Edmund to trust you and feel comfortable at the farm? Is there anything special you did to help him in particular?

 Ms. Elwood - Edmund remains a shy guy. It took a couple months to win him over enough to get him to lift his feet for farrier visits(hoof trimming). He trust me over anyone else but he is still remains cautious.The book tells how I sing to him, sometimes I think he’s prefer I don’t!  Treats (apples, pears) are used to encourage him to be brushed, haltered for vet visits or to give medications when needed. The most important tool is patience and compassion.

 Erik - Did you really name him “Edmund Pedro Pickle Chin Big Head Ed Elwood”? I think that name is awesome, whether you really did or didn’t. :)

 Ms. Elwood – YES, LOL, those REALLY are all his names he collected over time! I am glad you like them and I hope the children will find them entertaining.Each critter here on the farm ends up having multiple names that match their personality and they all have their own song!

realedmund

The real Edmund (photo from Clara Bowman-Jahn’s blog – click picture to go there.

 Erik - How can people help your rescue if they’d like to?

 Ms. Elwood - Evermay Farm has a Facebook page titled “Evermay Farm”, where pictures of all the critters can be seen. The web page  http://www.evermayfarm.org has a donation link and can be accessed directly or by using the link on the Facebook page. Thank you so much for asking!   

More about the authors- 

Clara Bowman-Jahn worked as a registered nurse for thirty two years finally trading that job for her true love, writing. Clara’s short stories have been published in three anthologies, Campaigner Challenges 2011, The ‘I’ Word and Charms Vol. 2. She is also the author of Annie’s Special Day a children’s picture book. Her second Picture book, a true story, called Edmund Pickle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story, is co-authored with Susan April Elwood.

When Clara is not writing, she teaches ESOL to adult students through a library program. She also likes taking long walks with her husband, blogging, and reading books. She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Julie Hedlunds Picture Book Challenge 12×12, Susanna Leonard Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic; Pennwriters, Bethesda Writer’s Center and Round Hill Writer’s Group. She lives in rural Loudoun County, Virginia with her brilliant husband, and two fat cats. She is the proud mother of two wonderful grown sons and a grandmother to a delightful grandson. 

Contact information for Clara Bowman-Jahn:

www.clarbojahn.com

https://www.facebook.com/cbowmanjahn

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Edmund-Pickle-Chin-A-Donkey-Rescue-Story/233625116837649

 

Susan April Elwood has worked with children for over twenty years in Northern Virginia as a preschool teacher, kindergarten assistant, and a library assistant. With her passion for animals it made perfect sense to combine the two and write an animal story for children, teaming up with author Clara Bowman-Jahn.

 Susan and her husband Tom moved from Northern Virginia in 2007 to central Georgia where they founded Evermay Farm, a non-profit rescue for farm animals. This is the setting for the book titled, Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story. The story is based on Edmund a donkey, the first of many animals to call Evermay Farm home. Susan and her husband Tom have two treasured sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law and a precious grandson. In her free time, Susan enjoys photographing animals and antiquing.     

Contact information for Susan April Elwood:

 

www.evermayfarm.org

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Edmund-Pickle-Chin-A-Donkey-Rescue-Story/233625116837649

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Evermay-Farm/154892358148

 

Now for the Prizes from the authors!!

Thanks so much for reading Friends! For all friends of Edmund are my friends. Below please find our links and the tour. Read every post, follow the blog and comment for prizes. The reader who follows each blog and comments on each stop of the tour will get first prize. And if there are many winners, hurray! We will deliver!

First prize is a print book of both Annie’s Special Day and Edmund Pickle Chin. Second prize is either a print copy of Edmund or of Annie, you get to pick. Third prize is a copy of the ebook of Edmund Pickle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story.

 

BLOG TOUR DATES

May 26: Animal abuse and mistreatment — Joanna -www.joannamarple.com

May 29: Author collaboration— Stacy – http://www.stacysjensen.com

May 30: PPBF and review — Vivian – http://viviankirkfield.com/

June 2: Author interview  — Erik – www.ThisKidReviewsBooks.com

June 4: Edmund interview — Patricia – http://childrensbooksheal.com

June 9: Teacher info and guide — Susanna – http://susannahill.blogspot.com

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Alseep by Barney Saltzberg

30 May

I think I have a first going on this week! I have THREE giveaways taking place on my blog! Click HERE to enter to win a copy of  the AWESOME book “The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw” by Christopher Healy – Click HERE to enter to win a 5-book prize pack from Disney Press AND NOW YOU GET A CHANCE TO WIN MY PPBF PICK!!! Just comment and tell me you want to be in the drawing! Next week, I’ll put all the names in a hat and Josie will pick one out. Sorry – it’s only open to U.S. residents.

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because everyone, sometime in their life, could not, would not fall asleep. :)

chengduChengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Alseep
Written and Illustrated by Barney Saltzberg
48 pages – ages 3+
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 6, 2014

Theme/Topic- Sleeplessness

Genre- Children’s Fiction

Opening and Synopsis-

Opening – “It was late and it was quiet.”

Synopsis from the publisher- “High in his tree a young panda named Chengdu lies awake, even though everyone around him is quietly sleeping. He tosses and he turns. He scrunches and he squirms. But it’s not until he finds the perfect spot-atop his brother, Yuan-that he finds rest. But now Yuan can’t sleep.

Why I liked this book- First of all, just look at Chengdu! Can’t you understand how he feels? He wants to fall asleep, but he can’t! Mr. Saltzberg really draws you into feeling Chengdu’s problem. We really care for Chengdu. He is a cute little panda and he is deprived of  sleep! I get tired just thinking about it. The illustrations are adorable. I like how Mr. Saltzberg drew the details of the bamboo forest and the coloring in it. I also like that there are some flap pages in the book. It makes it interactive and fun. You are going to love Chengdu!

Activities and Resources-

About the author- Barney Saltzberg is the author and illustrator of close to 50 books for children, including Beautiful Oops!, Good Egg, Cornelius P. Mud , Crazy Hair Day and the bestselling Touch and Feel Kisses series with over 800,000 copies in print. Additionally, he’s recorded four CDs of music for children. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, three dogs, and a pond full of fish.

Mr. Saltzberg just posted early Chengdu illustrations on his blog to show his illustration process. It’s cool to see. Click HERE.

Scholastic has an article on what to do for your sleepless middle-grade child (Click HERE) and for toddlers (Click HERE).

Check out this post from PargmaticMom on bedtime yoga to help kids go to sleep. Ms. Wenjen reviews a yoga picture book that may help your little Chengdu fall asleep (Click HERE)!

 

Check out the book’s trailer! Chengdu is SO CUTE!!!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Guest Book Review! Minnie in Paris by Sheila Sweeny Higginson and a Prize Pack Giveaway!

28 May

Today I have a special guest book reviewer – my little sister Josie! :D

Josie is 10 years old and has her own blog called Animals and Art. You can clock HERE to go THERE.

Josie is here to tell us what she thought about a new book called Minnie in Paris! What is even better, Disney Press is offering a book prize pack for us to give away to one lucky reader! Check out the details at the end of the post!

MinnieinParisMinnie In Paris

 By Sheila Sweeny Higginson

Illustrated by Mike Wall 

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Disney Press on May 13, 2014

ABOUT THE BOOK (from the publisher)
Fashion is Minnie’s passion! And, as a result, she’s been invited to show her bows on the runways of Paris!

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  -MinnieSpread_01 MinnieSpread_4

 

At the airport, Minnie is so busy taking care of her nieces, Millie and Melody, that she accidentally switches suitcases with Penguini the magician–and finds that his suitcase is full of bunnies instead of bows! Minnie must round up the mischievous little bunnies, find Penguini, and make her bows in time for the show. Will she make it? MinnieSpread_1

 

Readers are treated to a stunning tour of famous Parisian locations, from the Louvre to Tuilleries Gardens to the Eiffel tower, to a classic Parisian bistro—all in search of Penguini’s bunnies.

MinnieSpread_2

 MinnieSpread_3

 

This charming hardcover picture book comes with a code to access the Minnie in Paris eBook.

WHAT JOSIE THOUGHT - I really liked the pictures. They are colorful. There were a couple of words I couldn’t read but my dad helped. I liked it when he read it out loud and then I got the ebook and it could read it to me too. The voice was nice on the ebook and it played music. I liked the bunnies and Penguini. I think little kids will learn how to count to ten with the book because Minnie has to find the bunnies and it counts up to ten.  I got to learn some places in Paris like Notre Dame, and the Louvre. I thought the story was great and I love Minnie Mouse. :)

I want to give this book 5 bookworms. fivebooks

Thank you Josie for a great review! Now onto the giveaway!

ABOUT THE PRIZE PACK -

We get to give away a 5-book prize pack! Just mention in the comment section that you’d like to be in the drawing (sorry only U.S. addresses). Next week on June 3rd, we will announce the winner. We will put all the names in a hat and the winner will be chosen out of the hat by Josie. Here is the description of what the winner gets:

Minnie in Paris is part of a new collection of books from Disney Publishing that includes digital content such as songs, eBooks, iPhones/iPads apps and more. Other titles in this collection include Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast, which includes a code to download the song “All You Desire,” Jake and the Neverland Pirates: Follow that Sound! which includes a code to download the Jake and the Neverland Pirates Shapes and Patterns app, Minnie: Trouble Times Two which includes a code to download the Minnie Bow Maker app and Sofia the First: The Royal Slumber Party which includes a code to download the Sofia the First: Story Theater app.  

MinnieBooksPrize

 

 

 

 

For more information on this series, please visit the Minnie in Paris official product page.

Follow Disney Publishing on Twitter,Facebook & Instagram

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday! My Name is Bob by James Bowen and Garry Jenkins

23 May

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because this is an awesome story based on real-life that shows how great friendship can be.

bobMy Name is Bob
By James Bowen and Garry Jenkins
Illustrated by Gerald Kelley
4 – 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series (May 1, 2014)

Theme/Topic- Homelessness/pets

Genre- Realistic Fiction/based on a true story

Opening and Synopsis-

“My name is Bob and I am a street cat. Shall I tell you my story? Then come with me…”

Bob is a homeless, injured kitty. He had a nice home but then lost it. He wanders around trying to find a friend, but no one will pay any attention to him. One day he sees a man who looked like he needed a friend too.  The man helped Bob and Bob helped the man. They are now the best of friends.

Why I liked this book- Here is another story where the back story is as good as the book itself. Mr. Bowen has written an adult book, his memoir about how he and Bob met, called “A Street Cat Named Bob”. In it he tells that he was homeless and addicted to drugs, but caring for Bob made him think of someone besides himself. He helped Bob and Bob helped him. Mr. Bowen wrote another book called “For the Love of Bob” which is a children’s book (middle-grade level) summarizing his memoir. In “My Name is Bob”, the story is retold as a picture book, but from Bob’s point of view. This was a very well-written story! It has an interesting, innocent feel to it. In the book, Bob never said that Mr. Bowen was homeless or addicted to drugs, he just saw a person who looked like he needed a friend. The illustrations by Mr. Kelley are beautiful images that really go with the whole feel of the story. Have a look!

interiorbob

 

Isn’t that great? The book is based on a true story. It’s not what actually happened to Bob (until he meets Mr. Bowen) but what Mr. Bowen thinks what may have happened to Bob before he came into his life. 

 

bob2

The story shows the power of caring for pets and friendship. The story is awesome. I think I would like to meet Mr. Bowen and Bob. :)

Activities and Resources-

Here is Mr. Bowen reading an excerpt from “My Name is Bob” to Bob. :)

I saw a short documentary about Mr. Bowen and Bob and in it Mr. Bowen said he wanted people to not just look past a homeless person. I found a fact and lesson plan for young kinds at the NationalHomeless.org website. Click HERE to go to it. It goes over what homelessness is and is good for helping young kids to understand who it happens to and why it may happen and what you can do.

Invite a therapy pet into the classroom or learn more about the power of pets in people’s lives. There is a ton of information about therapy pets at PetPartners.org (click HERE) and how to be a therapy volunteer with your pet.

Like The Street Cat Bob on Facebook HERE.

Check out all of Mr. Bowen’s Bob books on his Amazon page HERE.

Follow Bob and Mr. Bowen and Bob on Twitter HERE.
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Book Review! Lobo Visits the Barnyard or Lobo visita la granja by C.L. Murphy

22 May

lobobarnLobo Visits the Barnyard [or Lobo visita la granja]

Written and illustrated by C.L. Murphy

Interactive ebook available on iTunes

21 pages – ages 4+

Published on Feb 01, 2013 by Peanut Butter Prose

Summary: Lovable Lobo is no ordinary wolf-pup! Lobo the lovable wolf-pup has been invited by his friend Lulubell the cow to visit the barnyard and see all the animals. Lobo goes around, pretending to be the animals he comes by. He slops in the mud with the pigs, and he swims in the pond and quacks like a duck. He startles the horse he was riding when asked if he was hungry, he replied that he could “eat a horse”. The barnyard animals are quite sure what to make of a friendly wolf pup. Still, no matter his actions, Lobo still wins over the hearts of the animals at the barnyard.

What I thought: Hoorah Hoorah! My dad won an ipad from his work so I can now review interactive ipad books! This is a great one! It is very well done with big bright illustrations and lots of action. I also like that the book is interactive – you can click on a semi-transparent animal track (they are scattered throughout the book) and listen to the sound the animal makes. That is great fun for little kids. The illustrations (also done by Ms. Murphy) are very cute and add a lot to the action of the story. I love that Lobo really doesn’t think about being a wolf and that the animals may be a bit scared of him. Lobo just is his lovable self and the other animals accept him. That’s a nice message.

This is the second book in the lovable Lobo series. One of the reasons I wanted to review this book is that it also comes in a Spanish version, “Lobo visita la granja.”

lobospanish

For my next Upper Bucks Free Press newspaper column I am writing a story about the benefits of getting the same books in multiple languages to help kids be exposed to and learn other languages. This book is a great example of that and I’ll be using it in my article.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Find the Adventures of Lovable Lobo on iTunes HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Murphy and her other books, please visit her website HERE.

Follow Lovable Lobo on Twitter HERE and on Facebook HERE.

Check out the trailer!

WAIT! BEFORE YOU GO -

As a personal note, I think Ms. Murphy is a great member of the kid-lit community. She is always there to support and cheer people on and she is very nice. I was very sad to read on the Lovable Lobo Facebook page that Lobo, the real Lovable Lobo, passed away on May 19th. He was over 14 years old and was a living example of how we shouldn’t judge others. You can read about him HERE.

I’d ask everyone to give a howl at the moon tonight in remembrance of Lobo.

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* Howling at the Moon * by Parée Creative Commons Licence Click image to go to Flikr page

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Every Turtle Counts by Sara Hoagland Hunter

16 May

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a fantastic story! 
turtlecountsEvery Turtle Counts
by Sara Hoagland Hunter
Illustrated by Susan Spellman
36 pages – ages 5+
Published by Peter E. Randall on April 1, 2014

Theme/Topic- Turtles/ Autism

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis-

From the inside jacket:

“When seven-year-old Mimi discovers a frozen sea turtle on the beach, she doesn’t know she has stumbled upon one of the rarest animals on earth. All she knows is she must save it. Based on the true plight of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, born on just one beach in Mexico and stranded each year in the hook of Cape Cod, Every Turtle Counts is the story of an autistic child who, with the help of a devoted parent, rescues both the turtle and herself.”

First line – “There were others who walked the beach that day, but only one who stopped to look.

Why I liked this book-

I really liked the double meaning in this book. The book is titled “Every Turtle Counts” but it could also be “Every Person Counts.” Mimi never gives up on a frozen turtle she finds on the beach even though adults around her are telling her it’s dead and to get rid of it. Mimi’s caring mom listens to what Mimi is saying and calls the Audubon Society to help. Mimi is autistic and has trouble with people being close to her and also has trouble talking, but the book explains it all in a very kid-friendly way. The illustrations are wonderful and really add to the telling of the story. I like the message in the book about how caring for an animal can help people (disabled or not).  Besides the great story, I learned a lot about Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles! I never heard of them before. There is an author’s not in the back of the book to explain about the turtles even  more. The migration of the turtles is amazing!

Activities and Resources-

HERE is a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle fact sheet from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

HERE is a great article from National Geographic about Kemp’s ridley turtles.

HERE is a “Kid’s Times” newsletter from NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service explaining about Kemp’s ridley turtles.

Dr. Temple Grandin Visit Dr. Temple Grandin’s website and learn about animals and their benefit with people with autism click HERE.

Check out the book’s trailer!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

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