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Perfect Picture Book Friday! Simple Machines: Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys by David A. Adler

27 Feb

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 great nonfiction, educational book.

simpleSimple Machines: Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys
By David A. Adler
Illustrations by Anna Raff 
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Holiday House on January 30, 2015

Theme/Topic- Simple Machines

Genre- Nonfiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Machines make work easier.”

Synopsis – From the inside cover- “We use simple machines every day without realizing it. Teeth are wedges and so are knives, forks, and thumbtacks. Many toys are simple machines. Slides are inclined planes, and seesaws are levers. This introduction to levers, wheels, pulleys, inclined planes, and more explains how simple machines simplify our lives.”

Why I liked this book- This is a rather cool nonfiction book. It shows you everyday examples of the simple machines, and how they work. For example, did you know that our teeth are wedges, and that a mountain road can be an inclined plane? There are also really nice illustrations that show what is going on clearly. The book clearly explains simple machines in a kid-friendly way.  This book is a great read-aloud for young kids. I really love this book, and would recommend it for a class project.

Activities and Resources- 

Go on a simple machine scavenger hunt! Try to find each of the six types of simple machines around your house.

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) has a great webpage devoted to simple machines. Click HERE to go THERE.

There’s a great Simple Machines Unit / Activities at Parents.com HERE.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena

20 Feb

HELLLLOOOO Blogosphere! Happy Friday! What could be better than Perfect Picture Book Friday you ask? (well maybe you didn’t but let’s just pretend you did)

Well, I’ll tell you! How about Perfect Picture Book Friday and I get a TWO hour delay from school!

WOO HOO!!!

What?

Not so excited about that?  Well I am pretty ding-dang-dong excited about that.

OKAY how about this -

After you get done reading about my pick for this week’s Perfect Picture Book Friday you click on over the Felicia and my vlog – The Write Chat where we have an all new episode for your viewing pleasure! This month we interview the amazingly talented BIG BOOK author – BART KING!

BartKingTWC7Collage

What is Mr. King’s Dream job?

Why are we interviewing an egg?

Are girls allowed to read the BIG BOOK OF BOY STUFF and are boys allowed to read the BIG BOOK OF GIRL STUFF?

How does Bart King (who is NOT a girl) write a BIG BOOK OF GIRL STUFF anyway?

All these and many more questions will be answered in this exciting episode of THE WRITE CHAT!

Click HERE to go THERE (but only after you read my PPBF post ;) ).

 

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 was illustrated by Christian Robinson, and I like his works. That’s what caught my eye, but there is a lot more to the book.

laststopLast Stop on Market Street

By Matt De La Peña

Illustrated by Christian Robinson

32 pages – ages 3+
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on January 8, 2015

Theme/Topic- Appreciation

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “CJ pushed through the church doors, skipped down the steps.”

Synopsis (from publisher) – “Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.”

Why I liked this book- This is a very inspiring book. It helps you see the wonders of the world, even in places you wouldn’t expect. Mr. Robinson’s art really compliments Mr. De La Peña’s story. It has that warm feeling and points to all the things that matter. I like how the twist at the end of the story reveals that CJ and his Nana go to help others. I noticed that CJ’s Nana never really shushes CJ for asking questions, like about a blind man – “How come that man can’t see?” and his Nana replies “…Some people watch the world with their ears.” That line made me smile. Mr. De La Peña has written a great picture book which makes me want to see the awesomeness in everything around me.

Activities and Resources-

A great activity is to volunteer to help other people like CJ and his Nana did. There are a lot of places you can go to help – just with your family or maybe your whole class room.

I found this list of activities called “Gratitude Games.” They are ways of having kids remember all they have to be thankful for. Click HERE to get it.

Of course the Bucket Fillers activities are a great way to have and show appreciation. Click HERE.

 

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

Review! Duke ‘N’ Matt: Rescue Road Warriors by Rhonda Paglia

18 Feb

dukenmattDuke ‘N’ Matt: Rescue Road Warriors
by Rhonda Paglia
Matt Pi, contributor
40 pages – ages 5+
Published by CreateSpace on August 5, 2014

Summary- Duke, a cute and friendly red beagle, tells the story of how he and his adopted human, Matt, help other animals by driving them all around the United States to be with their new families. Duke and Matt have been together since 2009. They rescue dogs from puppy mills, shelters and dogs that the owners can’t take care of anymore. This story tells kids how Duke and Matt work with many other volunteers to transport dogs to safe places.

What I Thought- This is a wonderful nonfiction story. It really makes you smile – partly because of the cute pictures of dogs in it, but also because of the happy story. It does mention puppy mills, but describes them in a kid-friendly way (the mommy dogs only have puppies, and they can’t leave their crates) – some of the dogs are not cared for correctly etc. Mrs. Paglia wrote a great story that informs you in a simple way about dog rescue, told from the point of view of Duke the beagle. The story covers a part of animal rescue that a lot of kids (and maybe some adults) don’t know about – how dogs are matched with adoptive or foster families, sometimes way across the country, and how the dogs get to their new families. There is a ton of resources in the back of the book that covers everything from what rescues are to definitions of terms to the geography of the United States! This is an uplifting, informative book that both adults and kids can enjoy.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Red: A Crayon’s Story

13 Feb

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 really shows how we need to look inside of a person, and not judge by appearance or expect them to be a certain way.

redRed:A Crayon’s Story

Written and Illustrated by Michael Hall

Hardcover: 40 pages ages 4+
Published by Greenwillow Books on February 3, 2015

Theme/Topic- Being yourself

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “He was red.

Synopsis (from publisher) – “Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He’s blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone!”

Why I liked this book- This seems the ultimate “be yourself” book. It shows that if you just judge by appearance, you can get an entirely different outlook than on what’s inside the “wrapper”. The illustrations are quirky and fun to look at. I like how the white page is really “paper” for the crayons to draw on. That was pretty cool. This is a wonderful book, and I was happy to review it. “Red” is a nice crayon who you care for. There is some humor in the story, because the reader instantly knows that Red is blue. This is a nice book for diversity teaching.

Activities and Resources-

There is a printable activity and teacher’s guise to go along with the books at the publisher’s website. Click HERE to get them.

Get some crayons and make an adventure for them! Or, have the crayons DRAW the adventure for them!

Or how about getting coloring pages and have kids color the pages colors that aren’t the “normal” colors for the picture – like this one – I think the woolly mammoth wants to be pink with a little brown. ;)

color

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

Some fun picture books for Valentine’s Day!

11 Feb

 

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought I’d tell you about a couple of very cute picture books that celebrate love! :)

clarkheart

Clark the Shark Takes Heart

Series: Clark the Shark

By Bruce Hale

Illustrated by Guy Francis

4 – 8 years
32 pages – ages 6+

Published by HarperCollins on December 30, 2014

Synopsis- (From publisher) “It’s Anna Angelfish’s birthday, and Clark wants to find the perfect present for her to show her how he feels. But when he tries to make a big impression with his usual zip, bang, and BOOM, things don’t go quite as planned. With help from his best friend, Joey Mackerel, our favorite boisterous shark learns that when it comes to showing that you care, something thoughtful and small could be the best of all.”

What I Thought- This was a nice picture book. It isn’t really a Valentine’s story, but can be read as one. Clark wants to show a classmate he likes (Anna Angelfish) how he feels for her birthday. With a little help from his friends, Clark finally figures out that it’s the little things mean the most. That’s a nice message. The illustrations are fun and cartoony. They make you want to laugh out loud. Clark is a shark, but he isn’t mean. At all. He may be accident-prone, but he’s actually pretty nice.

lovebugThe Berenstain Bears’ Valentine Love Bug

By Mike Berenstain

4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Series: Berenstain Bears
24 pages – ages 6+

Published by HarperFestival on November 25, 2014

Synopsis- (From publisher) “When Sister Bear is asked to be the flower girl at a Valentine’s Day wedding, she is over the moon with joy. But when she gets carried away with the dresses, flowers, and cake, things begin to go awry. Young readers will feel the excitement—and the love—with this brand new storybook complete with a special poster, fun stickers, and Valentine’s Day cards.”

What I Thought- This is a great addition to the Berenstain Bears series! I like how it covers a wedding and Valentine’s Day in one shot. The series is a nice familiar one that parents can read with their kids. This story provides a good lesson for young kids. The art in this story is, like all of the books in the series, well-done and have that warm feel to them. All of the details in the illustrations are fun to look at and pick out.

didyouknowDid You Know That I Love You?

By Christa Pierce

4 – 8 years
32 pages – ages 2+

Published by HarperCollins on December 23, 2014

Synopsis- (From publisher) “Did you know that I love you? Could you feel it in my hugs? From her soft kisses and soothing hugs to her tasty tea and warming mug, Bird sweetly expresses her love to Fox so he knows that no matter how big he gets or where he goes, her love is always with him.”

What I Thought- This is a very sweet picture book about loving one another – not necessarily about Valentine’s Day but it is a great book about feeling loved.  The art in the book is very nicely done and makes you just want to smile, just like the book will. I like how there is the detail of how Fox has “freckles” on his face, making him look youthful. The book is marvelous and would make a great bedtime story.

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Me and My Big Mouse by Ethan Long

6 Feb

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 book with a great message.

meandmyMe and My Big Mouse
By Ethan Long
32 pages – ages 3+
Published by Two Lions on June 17, 2014

Theme/Topic- Friendship / Relationships

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “This is me, Michael. And this is my big mouse.

Synopsis – Michael likes his big mouse, Bo, but sometimes, Bo is a big problem. He hates to be left alone, so Bo follows Michael around. Everywhere. So, how can Michael get some free time without hurting his big mouse’s feelings?

Why I liked this book- Michael is a great kid, and he doesn’t want to hurt his friend’s feelings. Bo (the mouse) while nice, can get annoying sometimes and Michael needs a little time without Bo. I like that Bo means well, but he sometimes comes out as over-loving. This book teaches that while you can be friends with someone, sometimes you just need some alone time, too. And even though friends need some alone time, they can still be friends. The illustrations are eye-pleasing and make you laugh out loud. The book is a fun one that I think that kids will really like! I like how Bo is gigantic, not simply “big”.

Activities and Resources-

When I was researching activities for this book I found a bunch of articles saying how important it was for kids to learn its okay to play alone or to be able to play with different groups of friends.

HERE is an article from Parents.com about teaching toddlers to play alone.

I think a good activity would be to have kids try to have play dates with different kids and if one friend is a little too clingy try to have the friend over while other friends are there so the clingy friend can make more friends.

It’s nice in school when teachers pair up different kids to be partners. I know I got to talk to and get to know some kids in my class that way.

Want to learn more? Check out Ethan Long’s website HERE!

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

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday! My Teacher is a MONSTER! (No, I am not.) by Peter Brown

30 Jan

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 book with a great message (and because running into teachers outside of school is awkward – Sorry, but it’s true!).

myteacherisaMy Teacher is a Monster! No, I am not.
Written and Illustrated by Peter Brown

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on July 1, 2014

Theme/Topic- Perspective / school / monsters

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Bobby had a big problem at school. Her name was Ms. Kirby.

Synopsis – taken from the inside jacket “Bobby has a problem. You see, his teacher is a monster. But when Bobby runs into his teacher outside of school, he learns there is more to her than meets the eye.

Why I liked this book- This is a funny book about perspectives. Someone sometimes might act “horrible” in some instances, but once you get to know them, they might actually be nice or not what you originally thought. It’s a good lesson for kids and the story is fun, not “preachy.” I really enjoy the illustrations. They’re fun to look at. I like how they gradually show the change in Ms. Kirby (from monster to human). I think all kids have felt at some point that their teacher is a monster (of course if ANY of my current or past teachers are reading this I NEVER thought that about you). And who hasn’t found it awkward when you see your teachers outside of school? They don’t live there?!? Really? ;) Mr. Brown has written a great book!

Activities and Resources-

Mr. Brown has an activity kit that goes along with this book. It has discussion questions, group activities, coloring pages and more! Click HERE to download it.

Barbara Leyne of the awesome blog Grade Onederful, nominated this book as a PPBF book last year. Her review and suggested activities are great – check them out HERE.

With Valentine’s Day coming up here is a MONSTROUS idea for school kids – a monster card box.

Photo Credit to Giggles Galore

Photo Credit to Giggles Galore

Check out the instructions for making this cute craft at the Giggles Galore blog – CLICK HERE to GO THERE!  Josie is going to make one for her school party. :)

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Stick by Clay Rice AND New Write Chat Episode!

16 Jan

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 interviewing – the Uber-Author CHRIS GRABENSTEIN!!!

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Now back to your regularly scheduled review.

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 uniquely encourages imagination and creation!


thestickThe Stick

By Clay Rice

32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Familius on September 20, 2014

Theme/Topic- 

Genre- Fiction / Imagination

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Once there was a boy who had no toys to play with. The other children had lots of toys. Every afternoon, the boy would go to the park, sit under a big tree, and watch the other children play. Sometimes they let the boy play with their toys. Sometimes not.”

Synopsis – From the inside jacket: When a young boy finds a stick on the ground, and reads the inspiring words carved into it, his life begins to change as he fulfills lifelong dreams and discovers the truth about giving.

Why I liked this book- This is the ultimate book about imagination. The book is totally narrated (no dialogue) and it add to the fable feeling of the story. It makes you feel nice inside. I like how there is a cycle, which explains how the boy got the stick, but not how the stick came to be (I like the mysteriousness of it). The boy is an underprivileged kid, who gets the ultimate toy – a stick – but not really -it is his imagination. The silhouette illustrations are amazing. They really add a neat perspective to this marvelous book!

Activities and Resources- 

Imagination play is very cool. After reading the books, give kids their own stick (or another object) and ask them to pretend it is something or pretend they are someone else.  How many different things can their stick be?

There is a cool activity over at PBS Kids that shows kids how to make their own silhouettes. Click HERE to go THERE!

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

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Do You Have a Hat? by Eileen Spinelli

19 Dec

Before I get to Perfect Picture Book Friday I’d like to tell you that Felicia and I have the latest episode of The Write Chat up! In this episode we hunt track down and interview award-winning author/illustrator MATT PHELAN! CLICK on over to -

~Watch me make a fool of myself Witness the mayhem that occurs when Erik & Felicia forget to book their guest.
~Find out what Mr. Phelan would do with Jeanne Birdsall’s shopping list.
~Find out what the set rules are to make a graphic novel.
~PLUS we have a fun quiz where you can win prizes. :)
phelanchat
Sign up for our newsletter to be informed of when our monthly Vlog goes live and stay up to date on our future guests. On the website you can submit your own questions to ask our upcoming guest. They include; New York Times award-winning author, Chris Grabenstein; Amazon best-selling author, Bart King; Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, author of the awesome new series The Guardian Herd, Tara Lazar author of The Monstore, mastermind and  head honcho of PiBoIdMo; and award-winning author/illustrator (and all around very cool guy) Tom Angleberger ! 
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!? CLICK HERENO WAIT!!! First read my Perfect Picture Book Friday post – :D

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, as an avid collector of hats, I think this book is awesome!

doyouhaveDo You Have a Hat?
By Eileen Spinelli

Illustrated by Geraldo Valerio

40 pages – ages PreK+

Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on October 1, 2004

Theme/Topic- Famous People

Genre- Historical Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Do YOU have a hat? Something fuzzy, warm, and red, to keep the snowflakes off your head?

Synopsis – From Inside cover:

A fancy hat. A hat that’s plain.
A hat for keeping off the rain.
A glowing hat. A hat with fruit.
A hat for that new dress or suit.
All herein have hats, it’s true —
fantastic, magnificent hats!
Do you?
What do Spanish painter Francisco de Goya, Russian-American composer Igor Stravinsky, South American entertainer Carmen Miranda, African-American cowboy Nat Love, and President Abraham Lincoln have in common?
HATS! Unique, distinctive, wonderful hats! And this bright and cheerful picture book from best-selling author Eileen Spinelli and colorful newcomer Geraldo Valério will have you thinking twice before going outside without yours!

Why I liked this book- I love hats. There. I said it. Happy? I collect hats of all types. So, learning about famous people and their hats, to me, is just plain awesomeness. Mrs. Spinelli has written a fun factual story that makes you want to smile. I loved reading about the famous people and what hats they wore. The illustrations are warm and are full of things in the fore- and background that catches your eye. Plus, this is a good time of year to talk about hats. For those in the Northern Hemisphere – hats that keep you warm. For those in the Southern Hemisphere – hats that keep the sun off! This is a perfect book for young kids (and old kids)! Mrs. Spinelli is a master of picture books!

Activities and Resources-

The Deep Space Sparkle website has a great  art lesson/activity plan to go along with this book – click HERE to go to it.

I think a cool activity would be to learn more about the people with hats shown in Mrs. Spinelli’s book. Just pick one that is mentioned and research more about them.

Another activity would be to gather a bunch of hats and have one kid pick out a hat for another kid and they have to act like the person who would be wearing the hat. Can you guess who I am?

erik2

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! You Are NOT Small by Anna Kang

5 Dec

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 am a giant very tall (5’9″) and a classmate of mine is around 4 feet tall, and this book gets the debate about who is big and who is NOT small right!

yournotsmallYou Are NOT Small
By Anna Kang
Illustrations by Christopher Weyant
32 pages – ages 2+
Published by Two Lions on August 5, 2014

Theme/Topic- Differences/Perspective

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “You are small

Synopsis – From Goodreads: Two fuzzy creatures can’t agree on who is small and who is big, until a couple of surprise guests show up, settling it once and for all!

Why I liked this book- This book not only has a great lesson about perspective and debate, is also hilarious! The story shows the reader there are many ways of looking at something. Just because something is small to you doesn’t mean it is small. It isn’t preachy at – all just fun! The story is completely dialogue, but still gives a full feeling, even with only around 90 words in the whole book! The illustrations are simple, but are great to look at (and the fuzzy bear-like creatures are really cute).

yournotsmall2

 

The story points out that we really have to think about how we see things (or people (or fuzzy bear things)). The ending is awesome because it involves getting a snack after settling an argument. :) This is a great book!

Activities and Resources- 

I think a good activity for this book is to take a story and change the perspective. For example re-tell the 3 Little Pigs from the perspective of the pig building his house out of sticks. Maybe he had a bad back and couldn’t lift bricks, or he just couldn’t afford the bricks. ;)

Have your kids or students draw a picture of a tree (or whatever else in nature – it doesn’t really matter) as they see it and then how an ant would see it. Then ask how are the pictures different and how are they the same.

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

 

 

 

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