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Perfect Picture Book Friday! Ava’s Adventure by Laura Pedersen

14 Nov

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 seems to realistically capture how a young child thinks when it comes to being disappointed.

avasAva’s Adventure

by Laura Pedersen

Illustrated by Penny Weber

32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Tilbury House Publishers on September 3, 2014

Theme/Topic- Disappointment / imagination

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Bye, Ava! Bye, Lucas!

Synopsis (publisher’s description) – “Disappointed that she can’t go on a snowboarding trip with her friend, Ava escapes to her room, where she finds that the power of imagination and her own creativity take her farther than any snowboard could. At the same time, she learns that life’s tradeoffs aren’t all bad.

Why I liked this book- This is a marvelous picture book. I like that it shows that life isn’t all unicorns and rainbows (and donuts). Ava is a realistic girl, and teaches a nice lesson without being preachy. In the book, even though her parents say ‘No’, and Ava can’t go, besides being upset that she can’t go, Ava is still nice to her parents (after throwing a minor fit). Ava comes to realize not getting what she wants isn’t the end of the world. The illustrations are very well-done water color, and really portray the characters’ emotions. Ms. Pedersen has written a great book!

Activities and Resources- I think it is a good idea to read this story BEFORE a disappointment happens then you can talk about what Ava did and how, even though she was disappointed, she had a really great time.

As part of the story, you could ask, “If you were Ava, what kinds of things would you find to do in your room?”

The Mrs. Picasso’s Art Room blog has TONS of great Winter-themed craft and art ideas – I really like the Popsicle stick snowflakes. Check it out – click HERE!

Want to know more? Check out Ms. Pedersen’s website HERE!

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing

7 Nov

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 funny Thanksgiving story that is great for telling a kid’s perspective of the holiday! :)

 

thanksgiving_escapeThe Great Thanksgiving Escape

by Mark Fearing

32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Candlewick on September 9, 2014

 

Theme/Topic- Thanksgiving / family

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “It was another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s.

 

Synopsis (taken from the inside jacket) – “It’s another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. Gavin expects a long day of boredom and being pestered by distantly related toddlers, but his cousin Rhonda has a different idea: make a break for it — out of the kids’ room to the swing set in the backyard! Gavin isn’t so sure, especially when they encounter vicious guard dogs (in homemade sweaters), a hallway full of overly affectionate aunts, and worse yet, the great wall of butts! Will they manage to avoid the obstacles and find some fun before turkey time? Or will they be captured before they’ve had a taste of freedom?

Why I liked this book- This is a hilarious book, and a great take on the traditional Thanksgiving story. Mr. Fearing has written an amazing book here! I love how Rhonda, using her imagination, crafts a super-thrilling, slightly dangerous (“vicious” wiener guard dogs!) adventure, and takes Gavin along with her! The illustrations are amazing! LOOK!

 

Image from MFearing.wordpress.com

Image from MFearing.wordpress.com

Isn’t Gavin’s expression priceless? I like how there are tiny little details through out it. My favorite part has to be the “The Great Wall of Butts” the kids have to navigate around. It’s a good thing to remember that family get-togethers may not be as exciting for kids compared to adults. It’s great how the kids turn every-day boring things into an awesome adventure. As a kid, I can say Mr. Fearing got the Thanksgiving dinner kid-perspective spot on! You’ll get a bunch of laughs from this book!

Activities and Resources-
Mr. Fearing and Candlewick Press have a great activity kit to go along with the book! There is a maze, word search, drawing activities and an activity for us to remember to be thankful. Check it out HERE.

Create your own “Thanksgiving Adventure” – take the events that happen at your Thanksgiving celebration and exaggerate them into a full-blown adventure! Maybe have your kids color a picture or write a short story. Hmmm… Ms. Hill? I see another writing contest here… ;)

If you have a Thanksgiving celebration at your house, try to plan something fun for the kids to do – games (pin the feather on the turkey!), toys, coloring pages, etc. Maybe let them go outside! :)

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! How Martha Saved Her Parents From Green Beans by David LaRochelle

17 Oct

Happy Friday! Before I get to my Perfect Picture Book Pick, I wanted to ask that, after you are done here, click on over to The Write Chat, the Vlog that Felicia (kid author and creator of the Stanley and Katrina blog) and I started. We are hosting our first guest – Author Michelle Isenhoff!

While you are there, please sign up for our newsletter to be notified when we post a new Vlog (we only post once a month). You can also check out the AWESOME line-up of authors we will be interviewing.  CLICK HERE TO GO THERE !

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 love the story idea (and there are evil green beans involved).

marthaHow Martha Saved Her Parents From Green Beans

By David LaRochelle

Illustrated by Mark Fearing

32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Dial on April 18, 2013

Theme/Topic- Picky eaters

Genre- Fiction/Humor

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening – “Every Tuesday evening Martha’s family had green beans for dinner.”

Synopsis (Taken from inside jacket) Green beans are good for you. Green beans will make you big and strong.” Martha doesn’t believe what her parents tell her. And nothing will ever–EVER–make her eat them.
But when some beady-eyed, boot stomping beans bust into town and start causing trouble, Martha knows she has to take action against this gang of outlaws, cutthroats and desperadoes. She can think of only one was to stop the villainous veggies, and it’s not pretty…or tasty.

Why I liked this book- Once again the title of this book hooked me! I for one have always liked vegetables, but there is something about the idea of desperado green beans facing down a little girl who can’t stand the sight of vegetables that is very funny to me. Mark Fearing’s illustrations go with David LaRochelle’s story very well. I love the image of the green bean bad guys! I think it is a great story that may be able to get a picky eater to fight off some evil vegetables by eating them. It is also a cute story with a girl heroine who has to save her parents and does so very creatively!

Activities and Resources-
Stacey Jensen already nominated How Martha Saved her Parents from Green Beans last year (see her review HERE), but I liked the book so much, I thought it was worth another mention.

You can check out some of the artwork at Mark Fearing’s website HERE.

David La Rochelle has some Martha coloring pages on his site HERE.

ChooseMyPlate.gov has some great ideas and activities to help your picky eater get over being picky (click HERE). The site suggests letting your child help out in the kitchen, which I think is a great idea!

You can do what Susanna Leonard Hill suggests and cover everything in chocolate (okay, she didn’t actually state that, but I don’t think she’ll disagree). ;)

PBS.org has some great ideas for helping your toddlers not be picky eaters (click HERE).

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

Happy Star Wars Reads Day! Belches, Burps, and Farts – OH MY! by Artie Bennett

11 Oct

HAPPY –

starwarsreadday

Erik -Today is the day we get to celebrate my 2 favorite things – READING and STAR WARS! Hmm maybe there should be a Star Wars Reads while Eating day – then it would be the perfect day…

Today I have a special guest to help with the review. Please welcome CTR0929 -

IMG_2931Yes, good old CTR0929, member of the Royal Guard, we are happy to have you here today. Would you like to say Hi to the blogosphere?

CTR0929 -

Erik – You don’t say much do you?

CTR0929 -

Erik – Well maybe we should move along to the review. Today I give you BELCHES, BURPS AND FARTS – OH MY! – The book, not the actual stuff. ;)

 

belchesBelches, Burps, and Farts – OH MY!

By Artie Bennett

Illustrated by Pranas T. Naujokaitis

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Blue Apple Books on September 2, 2014

Summary- (From the book jacket):

Belches, burps, and farts. We all do it. So isn’t it time we learned about those often awkward, sometimes comical sound effects… before our next blastoff?!

What I like about it- After tackling the subjects of butts and poop (THE BUTT BOOK and POOPENDOUS) where else would Mr. Bennett turn – body gasses of course! This is another hilarious yet scientifically amazing book from Artie Bennett! He handles these subjects with so much ease and humor, you just can’t put this book down! It is put into two separate sections (BELCHES & BURPS, and FARTS), which are equally hilarious. I like that it shares fun facts about our internal gasses, too! Did you know that we can’t burp when on our backs? That termites fart the most? That you fart about 14 times a day (I counted – it’s true!)? Mr. Bennett makes these books great for any age and you also get to learn a bit about biology! The story is done in a well-done rhyme that sounds natural and flows off of the tongue. It makes it easier for younger kids to read, and there will be giggles all around. The illustrations are awesome, and have tiny little details in them that will keep you howling with laughter!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Erik – So CTR0929 What do you think about BELCHES, BURPS, AND FARTS OH MY!?

IMG_2930

CTR0929 –

Erik – Still not saying anything, huh? Hey, you can tell me, does Darth Vader ever fart (I want to use it against him know, so I’m prepared for the next time he invades visits my blog)?

CTR0929 –

Erik – CTR0929?

???????????????????????????????

Erik – Well I guess that he likes the book and that we’ll never know if Vader farts…

 

 

Perfect Picturebook Friday! Duck in the Fridge by Jeff Mack

10 Oct

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 so ZANY!

duckinthe Duck in the Fridge

by Jeff Mack

32 pages  - ages 4+

Published by Two Lions on September 2, 2014

Theme/Topic- Bedtime

Genre- Fiction/Humor

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening – “Daddy, why do you always read me Mother Goose before bed?

Synopsis – (from the inside jacket) “When Dad was a boy, he discovered a duck in the fridge! And more ducks all over the house. He invited some sheep to get rid of the ducks. And then dogs to get rid of the sheep. And so on and so on. But no one left. The house was a mess!

Why I liked this book- DUCK IN THE FRIDGE – come on the title is awesome! *hee hee* This story is all out fun. Every time I turned the page (after I had calmed my giggling down), I’d giggle again! Mr. Mack has written a very funny, wacky book about a dad telling his son about a time when he was younger and had to get someone who didn’t want to fall asleep to fall asleep! His illustrations are cute and light-hearted. Ducks are just funny too! I like all of the little details in the pages. There’s no great message in the book, just a fun bedtime story and sometimes we just need one of those! The ending is really nice too.

 

Mr. Mack has previews of the interior pages on his website (click HERE to go THERE).

duck2

Activities and Resources-

I had a hard time thinking of activities for this one. A lot of kids get baths before bedtime so maybe get some rubber duckies for their bath and make a matching game out of it. You could write letters or numbers on the bottom of each duck (make sure you make pairs up) and put the duckies in the bath and have your child try to find the matches. Then after the bath your child can dry the duckies off and get them ready for bed.

rubber-duck-248093_1280

You could also do what the dad did in the book! Read some Mother Goose before bed (after you read DUCK IN THE FRIDGE ;) )!

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! My First Book of Chinese Words by Faye-Lynn Wu

3 Oct

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 LOVE to learn other languages!

HEY! Be sure to read down to the bottom of this post. I am reviewing a second book and giving away a copy!

myfirstMy First Book of Chinese Words

by Faye-Lynn Wu

Illustrated by Aya Padron

32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Tuttle Publishing on February 12, 2013

Theme/Topic- Chinese Language / ABCs

Genre- Nonfiction

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening – 

is for ài,

a word that means love,

like the gentle hugs

that wrap us like the

soft wings of a dove.”

Synopsis – In this ABC book, each letter of the alphabet has a Chinese word to go with it. Each word is written in Chinese characters (simple and traditional) and there is a simple rhyme in English to tell the meaning of the Chinese word.

Why I liked this book-

I love studying foreign languages and I think picture books are a great way to begin to learn other languages. I even wrote a newspaper article about the benefits of bilingual picture books (check it out HERE). I really like this particular picture book because it is in a language that isn’t typically in the picture books I see in stores. I also think it was done very well. I like the illustrations (even the end pages were pretty). Check out one of the interior pages –

myfirst1I like that there is not only the rhyme on the pages, but the word is written in traditional and simple Chinese writing. There are also little notes on the pages explaining some of the meaning or cultural traditions shown in the illustrations of story. There is a pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book that is very helpful.

Activities and Resources-

Tuttle Publishing provided this pronunciation video so you can hear how the words are supposed to sound! Check it out and learn some Chinese! -


Education.com has a whole series of worksheets to learn Chinese characters for different words. Check it out HERE.

Tuttle publishing has other Asian My First Words books (My First Book of Japanese Words, My First Book of Korean Words, My First Book of Tagalog Words). Check them out HERE.

Here’s another activity! Learn about another Chinese tradition with my next review and even better – WIN a copy of Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles

Mei Mei Lucky NoodlesMei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles

by Shan-Shan Chen

Illustrated by Heidi Goodman

32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Tuttle Publishing on August 26, 2014)

Summary – (from inside jacket) “Mei-Mei is Chinese—but not Mom and Dad! When she was a baby, Mom and Dad flew all the way to the other side of the world to adopt her and bring her home. Lucky for Mei-Mei, her parents want her to know all about her roots in China’s wonderful culture. That’s why, on her birthday, her mom always makes her a traditional Chinese treat—long noodles, for a long and happy life. And this year, Mei-Mei is big enough to help her mom make them!

What I thought -  This is another book that easily falls into the category of AWESOME. First I like that it has an adopted MC (and because I am adopted, I like books that show good examples of families built through adoption). Secondly, it involved food… and I like to eat. ;) The illustrations are bright and colorful and I like that the story is about Mei-Mei being old enough to help her mom make her special treat. There are also references to other Chinese traditions in the book so you learn some about Chinese culture.

 

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! In the back of the book there is a recipe for making birthday noodles which I am going to try out and I will report back to you about them on Monday because that is when I will announce the winner of the copy of Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodle that Tuttle Publishing has offered to giveaway on my blog AND because Monday is National Noodle Day! WOO! To enter all you have to do is leave a comment below! Josie (my little sister) will randomly pick a name out of a hat on Sunday, October 5th at 7pm. I will announce the winner and give my noodle review on Monday, October 6th! :D

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

Review! No More Slooping, Sara Sue! by Ali Pfautz

30 Sep

sloopingNo More Slooping, Sara Sue!
by Ali Pfautz
Illustrated by  Carolyn Schallmo
36 pages – ages 4+
Published by Artistic Endeavors, LLC on April 9, 2014

SUMMARY - Sara Sue loves soup, no matter what kind. She has it every day. There’s just one tiny, little, slight problem – whenever she takes a sip, it turns into a humongous “SssLLuuuoooorrrrrPPPP”! When her parents get annoyed by the slooping, they make her a deal. Over five days, Sara Sue must figure out how to stop her slooping, or her mom will never make soup again!

WHAT I THOUGHT - This was a cute book. The illustrations are really nice, and portray the characters’ personalities well. Ms. Pfautz uses a nice amount of onomatopoeia to make kids laugh and enjoy reading the book. I think it would make a great read aloud. Sara Sue is a likeable character, and you understand how she feels. I like how the dog makes a comical appearance every once in a while. Ms. Pfautz has written a nice story about manners, and meeting your goals!

I give this book four out of five bookworms!fourbooks

To learn more about Ms. Pfautz and her books, please visit here website HERE.

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Telephone by Mac Barnett

26 Sep

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 cute story about how it is easy to misunderstand each other.

telephoneTelephone
by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by  Jen Corace
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by  Chronicle Books on September 9, 2014

Theme/Topic- How easy it is to mishear something someone said

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening -  “Tell Peter: Fly home for dinner.”

Publisher’s summary: “It’s time to fly home for dinner! In this witty picture book from award-winning and bestselling author Mac Barnett, a mother bird gives the bird next to her a message for little Peter. But passing messages on a telephone line isn’t as simple as it sounds. Each subsequent bird understands Mama’s message according to its own very particular hobbies. Will Peter ever get home for dinner? This uproarious interpretation of a favorite children’s game will get everyone giggling and is sure to lead to countless rereads.”

 

Why I liked this book-

*in a whisper* Psst – this book is great: pass it on.

This book is very cute and well done. It reminds me of a game that we played in school when I was little. We called it “whisper down the lane.” I think it’s also called “pass it on.” It was a fun game and this book captured that. The illustrations are cute and show lots of humor. First of all, check out the below image, an ostrich is a maid. Makes sense, with their black, fluffy feathers, right?

telephone1

But how in tarnation did she get on that wire? Ostriches can’t fly! I LOVE that funny touch! The story is light-hearted and full of everything someone could want in a picture book! The plot of the book shows that it is easy to mishear/misunderstand someone. It is a very fun and just plain silly read! I recommend this book to young kids and their parents/teachers!

Activities and Resources-

Play a game of “whisper down the lane.” Get your friends to stand in a row, and the kid at the front of the line whispers a phrase (or word) to the next, and that student then whispers the phrase to the next and so on, until the person at the end of the line got the whispered message and he/she says what they thought the word (or phrase) was. Usually it is completely wrong and pretty hysterical!

I think another activity you can do with the book is identify all the different birds in the book and what hobbies they like to do and then you can see why they changed the sentence like they did. The illustrations are great and that activity will get kids looking at them closely.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

19 Sep

AHOY MATES! Before I get t’ me Perfect Picture Book pick, I want t’ tell ye that after you be done here – please click over t’ me new Vlog – The Write Chat. If ye don’t, I’ll keelhaul the lot o’ ye!

Felicia (kid author and captain o’ the Stanley and Katrina blog) and I started a monthly Vlog and today marks me very first post (thar’s a great blooper video too)!

While you be thar, sign up fer our email and get notified when we post a Vlog. Check out th’ great line-up o’ authors we’ll be interviewin! CLICK HERE T’ GO THAR .

AVAST! What are ye bilge rats lookin’ at?

Did you be forgettin’ it be INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY?!? AAARG!

pirateday

(No really- go check out my new Vlog where Felicia and I are going to be interviewing authors you want to hear from. We have our first interview up – Click HERE!)

For all you DONUT fans out there (you know who you are ObynRay AmpbellCay :P )  – all you have to do today is drive to a Krispy Kreme DONUT shop and talk like a pirate and you’ll get a free donut! Dress like a pirate and you’ll get a whole DOZEN! No kidding – click HERE.

ENOUGH OF THIS SILLINESS! ON TO -


PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY! (Yar!)

 

flashlightSusanna 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 love “outdoor” books and this one is done very well!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

2 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 1
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 12, 2014)

Theme/Topic- Nature

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Flashlight is a wordless picture book

Taken from the inside jacket “Inside a tent it’s cozy. But what is going on outside? Is it dark? Is it scary? Not if you have your trusty flashlight!”

Why I liked this book-
I love when a wordless picture book is done really well! The illustrations in this book have such a story to tell! It is cool how Ms. Boyd draws the night scenes with very little color (just a splash here and there) – except where the flashlight beams. What will the MC see?

Another cool thing is that you don’t know if the MC is a boy or girl. When I read the book, I was thinking the MC is a boy, but Sue Morris of Kid Lit Reviews thought the MC is a girl (see her review HERE).

 

flafhlight1

You can look through the book several times and keep picking out little details and see all that the MC is missing in his little flashlight beam! There are little cut outs on the pages that ties the pages into each other. flashlight2 The story has some humor too. At one point the woodland creatures get a hold of the flashlight and they get a turn. Soon the MCs woodland buddies get him tucked back into bed.

This is a very cool book. :)

Activities and Resources-

How about a good game of Flashlight tag! Check out how to play (and a day time version for kids afraid of the dark) at Grandparents.com (Click HERE).

Go on a night time nature walk! Things are always different at night. If you don’t want to do it alone, check your local parks or wildlife preserves. Many do organized walks with a tour guide.

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

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato

12 Sep

I HAVE BEEN WAITING AND WAITING for Perfect Picture Book Friday to come back from summer vacation to tell you about this book!

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 Little Elliot had me at the cover!

 

littleelliotbigcityLittle Elliot, Big City

Written and Illustrated by Mike Curato

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on August 26, 2014

Theme/Topic- Making friends / Having a cupcake ;)

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- (publisher’s description)

“Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter—a friend.”

Why I liked this book- Little Elliot is an amazingly cute little elephant. Who doesn’t love him? Come on? Who didn’t see Elliot on the cover and go “Awwwww”? ;) Mr. Curato has written a great story about friendship. I like how Elliot meets someone smaller than him and together they tackle the big city! The illustrations are magnificent, and if you don’t believe me, just take a look!

littleelintIsn’t that great? I like how it seems to take place in the 1940′s. The cars are well-drawn (and pretty cool). The clothing on the people match the time period too. I love the feel you get from just the pictures (like looking at an old picture). This story is awesome also! I think that it would make a marvelous read-a-loud and a book to teach that with a little help, we can meet our challenges! :)

 

 

Activities and Resources-

I love it when publishers have activity guides to go along with their books! Check out the parent and educator guide for Little Elliot HERE!

 Kindergarten-Lessons.com has a list of suggested friendship activities for the classroom. Click HERE to go THERE

To learn more about Little Elliot, Big City, please visit the publisher’s website HERE.

To learn more about Mr. Curato and his other works, please visit his website HERE.

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

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