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Perfect Picture Book Friday! It’s Raining Bat’s & Frogs by Rebecca Colby

9 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 a fun Halloween read.

Bats-and-FrogsIt’s Raining Bats & Frogs
Written by Rebecca Colby
Illustrations by Steven Henry
40 pages – ages 5+
Published by Feiwel & Friends on August 11th, 2015

Theme/Topic- Halloween

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Every year, Delia looked forward to flying in the Witch Parade. This year was no different, despite the black clouds hovering overhead.”

Synopsis: From Goodreads; “Delia has been looking forward all year to flying in the annual Halloween Parade. But parade day brings heavy rain. So, Delia takes action. Using her best magic, Delia changes the rain to cats and dogs. But that doesn’t work too well! Then hats and clogs. That doesn’t work, either! Each new type of rain brings a new set of problems. How can Delia save the day?”

Why I liked this book- This is a really fun Halloween book. Ms. Colby has written a great rhyming, whimsical story about how one little witch tries to do good, and ends up making it worse! The illustrations are hilarious and make you smile. There are little word-bubbles on the spreads that add a lot of humor – “I never met a cat I didn’t like.” “Dognabit! Give me my broom back!” – that kids (or parents) will love! I really like how Delia has a familiar (a witch’s magical animal, like a black cat) – which is a raven. Ms. Colby and Mr. Henry have created a great Halloween book!

Activities and Resources- Ask your child/student if they can think of any more things that rhyme with Bats & Frogs that would cause mayhem if they rained from the sky? (Or just ask them about things that could “rain”, if they are a bit too young) What would you [they] do if whatever “rained”? What would happen?

Put on your own Halloween Parade! Who came?

For more Perfect Picture books, please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Pool by JiHyeon Lee

19 Sep

Sorry I’m late about this! School got in the way! ;)

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 fan of really well done wordless picture books!


By JiHyeon Lee
56 pages – ages 3+
Published by Chronicle Books on May 5, 2015

Theme/Topic- Imagination/Creativity/Friendship

Genre- Fiction/Wordless

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “” [Wordless]

Synopsis: From Goodreads; “What happens when two shy children meet at a very crowded pool? Dive in to find out! Deceptively simple, this masterful book tells a story of quiet moments and surprising encounters, and reminds us that friendship and imagination have no bounds.

Why I liked this book-  This is a marvelous wordless picture book. It really encompasses unlikely friendships and the creativity in them, as such. Ms. Lee is a great artist. Her art masterfully tells a story that is an inspiring adventure. The artwork is just stunning. The illustrations show that, with friends, you can do anything, and have a lot of fun. The art makes great use of white space, and has a really cool vibe to them. I recommend this book, and I look forward to more books by Ms. Lee.

Activities and Resources-

Take an ordinary circumstance, and then create something amazing from it, much like the MC in this book.

Try telling a story in only pictures. Kids can draw their own pictures or cut them out of magazines. Paste them together to make a story of your own.

You can get free wallpaper images of the book from Chronicle books – click HERE

There is also a great blog post over at Chronicle about how to read wordless picture books with kids – click HERE

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! I Thought This Was A Bear Book by Tara Lazar

11 Sep

Perfect Picture Book Friday is Back! Let’s start this off right with a book from the one and only TARA LAZAR!


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 fun fractured fairy tale story!

taralazarbearI Thought This Was A Bear Book
Written by Tara Lazar
Illustrations by Benji Davies
32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Aladdin on August 4th, 2015

Theme/Topic- Fractured Fairytales

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Once upon a time there were three bears.”

Synopsis: From Goodreads; “After an unfortunate bookcase collapse, Alien suddenly finds himself jolted out of his story and into a very strange world, complete with talking bears. Desperate to return to his book, Alien asks the Bear family for help so he can get back to his story and save his beloved Planet Zero from total destruction before it’s too late.
Mama Bear and Papa Bear try all kinds of zany contraptions (with some help from their nemesis, Goldilocks) without much luck. Baby Bear might have the perfect solution to get the Alien out of the woods and back to his planet…but will anyone listen to the littlest voice in the story?

Why I liked this book- Ms. Lazar is a great picture book writer. (I reviewed her picture book “The Monstore” HERE.) I love the story idea for this book! It will have kids and adults giggling uncontrollably! Prince Zilch, the Alien, is a funny character who needs to get back to Planet Zero to save it from ultimate destruction! He seems so out of place in the Bear’s book! Mr. Davies’ illustrations are spot on and fit perfectly into the story! The writing was funny and clever. This is the kind of book that you can read over and over again. This story is perfect for bed times, and any times!

Activities and Resources- This book is a giant fractured fairy tale, because some books fell on the floor, and the characters got jumbled up. Why don’t you take some random [picture] books, and jumble THEIR characters together? What would happen? How would they handle the problem?

Ask your kids what would happen if the alien landed in the Three Little Pigs book or an Elephant and Piggy book?

There is so much fun to be had here!

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

Review! Comic Phonics books by Kevin Bolger and Ben Hodson

7 Sep

61X3WYIbHeL._SX388_BO1,204,203,200_Lazy Bear, Crazy Bear: Loony Long Vowels
Written by Kevin Bolger
Illustrations by Ben Hodson
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by HarperCollins on June 23, 2015

9780062285966Gran on a Fan: Silly Short Vowels
Written by Kevin Bolger
Illustrations by Ben Hodson
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by HarperCollins on June 23, 2015

Synopsis- Do you have trouble with your vowel sounds? Do you like to read funny comics? Do you like grandmothers swinging from fans? If so, these books are perfect for you! They are comics with simple words to encourage kids to read them and learn about the vowel sounds. Meet up with Gran and Crazy Bear in these teaching comic books!

What I Thought- These are great books. I really like the unique idea of using comics to teach kids about the vowel sounds. The mini-stories in the books are hilarious and crazy – in a good way, of course! My favorite(s) is in the Gran on a Fan book. Nell falls into a well early on, and nobody gets her out. The last few pages of the book? The return of Nell! I laughed out loud when I read that. Mr. Hodson’s illustrations are great attributes to the story, putting even more humor into the book. The cartoon feel will make kids smile. I can promise you that! I think that this book series will be a huge hit with kids. It’s perfect for reluctant readers, and for bedtimes, you just read one comic per night!

I give this series five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett

28 Aug

leoLeo: A Ghost Story
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrations by Christian Robinson
52 pages – ages 5+
Published by Chronicle Books on August 25, 2015

Theme/Topic- Friendships / Imaginary Friends

Genre- Fiction

Synopsis- Leo is a ghost. He’s lived by himself for many years. Not many people can see him. One day, a family moves into the house, and when Leo greets them with tea, they freak out. Leo, feeling unwanted, leaves the house. After wandering the city streets for a bit, Leo meets Jane, a young girl. Jane can see him. They have a lot of fun together. When a robber tries to ruin their fun, Leo learns that being a ghost can be a very good thing.

Why I liked this book- This is a fun book to read. I like how it ends in a unique, marvelous way (read the book to find out!). The book itself is a sweet book about friendship. Mr. Barnett is a great author, and Mr. Robinson is a great illustrator, so it’s no wonder they make an amazing team! The simple illustrations go really well with the story line, as if you see the book from a child’s view. I think all younger kids looking for a good read will enjoy this story!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Picture Book Bonanza!

30 Jul

I’ve had a stack of to be reviewed picture books sitting on my desk and these three are the ones I enjoyed the most so far. I give all of these wonderful books 5 bookworms!


charieballCharlie Plays Ball

Written by Ree Drummond

Illustrated by Diane deGroat

40 pages – Ages 6+

Published by HarperCollins on March 24, 2015

Synopsis- Charlie the Basset Hound is a ranch dog. He ropes, he rides, and he eats – okay he really doesn’t rope and he just rides in trucks but he does eat a lot. And eats. Besides eating, Charlie also loves it when the ranch people play ball. Come with Charlie as he goes and PLAYS BALL! [He also takes a nap and eats, but that’s not the point]

What I Thought- Charlie is amazing. The series is awesome. I may be a tad biased, because we also have a basset hound and the books has the basset personality down pat. The books are funny and really cute. I love the fact that Charlie is a real dog. It brings a good touch of realism to the story. The illustrations are funny, usually with under-lying humor in the background. For example, Charlie has a little chipmunk friend on almost every page. Ms. Drummond really knows how to write a great story! Charlie eats, sleeps, and thinks he helps out. Just like Clyde, our basset. I really like this series, and think that kids will love it too.

bearduckBear and Duck

By Katy Hudson

32 pages – Ages 5+

Published by HarperCollins on May 12, 2015

Synopsis- Bear is tired of being a bear. He’s tired of sleeping all winter. He’s tired of his warm fur. He’s tired of the bees. So, he decides to be a duck. Being a duck looks much easier. All they do is waddle and quack. Duck decides to help Bear be a duck. But is there more to being a duck than Bear thinks?

What I Thought- This was a funny book. I like how Bear is convinced that he can become a duck overnight. I also like that on his list of complaints is his fur. That made me smile. Duck is a great friend. Ms. Hudson really wrote a good story about two friends who are united by their differences.

pigwigWhat This Story Needs Is A Pig In A Wig: A Pig in a Wig book

By Emma J. Virgán

40 pages – Ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on May 12, 2015

Synopsis- This story needs a pig. In a wig. In a boat in a moat… But what happens when, as more and more animals and their belongings appear on the small, over-crowded boat?

What I Thought- This is a cute book. I like the rhyme, which reminds me a tad of Dr. Seuss’. I like Ms. Virgán’s illustrations. They have a fun, cartoon feeling about them. This story is perfect for bedtimes, and young kids starting to read.

Review! If an Elephant Went to School by Ellen Fischer

10 Jul

elephantSchoolIf an Elephant Went to School

Written by Ellen Fischer

Illustrated by Laura Wood

32 pages (Hardcover) – ages 5+

Published by Mighty Media Kids on August 11, 2015

Synopsis- If an elephant went to school, what would she learn? Why, she most certainly wouldn’t learn the ABC’s! She’d learn how to use her trunk as a multi-tool! What about an owl? What would he learn? And a zebra? What about him? And, most importantly, what would YOU learn, if you went to school?

What I Thought- This is a really cute picture book! I like that it teaches kids about what animals would learn to live a nice life for them. It’s funny how it shows the animal in question first in a school environment with other animals doing “normal” things, and then in their natural habitat. I also like how the reader learns synonyms for “no way” throughout the book. Ms. Wood’s illustrations are funny, and you seem to catch the enthusiasm that her drawings embody. They go great with Ms. Fischer’s writing style, which is of a nice, “imagine that!” kind of attitude. I love the scenarios the animals find themselves in, and the very last pages are totally awesome!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Blown Away by Rob Biddulph

8 Jul

blownAwayBlown Away

By Rob Biddulph

40 pages (Hardcover) – ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on January 20, 2015

Synopsis- Penguin Blue has got a new kite, and he’s excited to try it out. There’s just one problem – the wind is too strong! Not only does Blue get blown away, but also his well-meaning friends! What can a penguin do?

What I Thought- This was a cute picture book.  I really like how there is an unrealistic touch to it, that can be humorously explained. The illustrations are really well-done, and add a lot of humor to the story. They are simple, but have just the right amount of detail in them. The story is told in a nice, playful rhyme. I think that this would make a great bedtime book, as well as a great sunny day book, rainy day book, and after-after-school-snack book, to name a few! I highly recommend this book!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Aftermath of a Blogger’s Illness Part 2 – Reviews Galore!

28 Jun

Hello blogging world. I feel like I haven’t seen you in a while. Sadly I’ve been sick for as long as I’ve been out of school. At first I thought I was getting better but then – nope. It turns out I had pneumonia and the doctor I was seeing “missed” it (my mom took me to a different doctor because she knew something was not right with me… well besides the usual). I am happy to say that after 14 days of 101+ fevers, I was fever free yesterday! WOO!  I am sad to say, I’ve not been able to keep up with commenting and posting and reading everyone’s wonderful blogs like I usually do (I got around a little, but not much), but things should be back to normal now. :) I have one more multi-post that I will do to catch up on all the things I got behind on! Here we go –

The winner of the Guardian Herd: LANDFALL by Jennifer Alvarez Swag Pack is:

GuardianHerd_3_final cover

Front of Tote

Front of Tote

Maureen Verone!!!!

Congratulations! I will be emailing you to get the address of where to send you your goodies!


shiversShivers! The Pirate Who’s Afraid of Everything

Written by

Illustrated by

192 pages – ages 8+

Published by HarperCollins on February 24, 2015

Synopsis- Shivers is a pirate. His mom is a pirate, his dad is a pirate, and his big brother is a pirate. It runs in the family. So why is Shivers afraid of everything that can do anything on this world? And if that’s not bad enough, why did his entire family have to be captured while sailing the high seas, leaving only Shivers and his pet fish, Albee, to rescue them. But then Margo comes along. Her dad is chief police officer, and she’s almost as good as him! Will Margo be enough to whip Shivers into shape?

What I Thought- This was a hilarious early chapter book! I read it while I was stuck in bed because I was sick, and I read it in an afternoon. It really cheered my spirits up. Shivers is a great character, and he’ll make you laugh! The book has random chapters missing, or blotted out, but all with a purpose, and they add humor (for example, the last page of Chapter 5 is blotted with “squid ink” because they were being attacked by an angry squid). I like how Margo, Shivers’ best friend, helps him on his adventures, taking control of a “frightening” situation. It’s a nice touch that she’s a girl. The book is wacky and slightly unbelievable, and kids will learn a little about the Statue of Liberty. Story-book pirates still exist in modern-day New Jersey and New York City, and they sail around looking for the treasure in the Statue of Liberty’s torch. This is a really funny book!

I give this five out of five bookworms!fivebooks


The Bewundering World of Bewilderbeests coverThe Bewundering World of Bewilderbeests

By Bailey Fort

ebook  (picture book) – ages 5+

Published by Fortify Books on March 23, 2015

Synopsis- In the East, over the high seas, lays a land you’ve never seen before. It hosts marvelous creatures that normally only exist in your imagination. Discover wild beasts that make you laugh, like the Two-Headed Mugwump, and others that you just think are cool, like the Millipus. Journey to the bewundering world of the bewilderbeests in this picture book!

What I Thought- This was a creative book. Ms. Fort has made a nice picture book. The creatures are whimsical and the illustrations are bright and marvelous. Kids will really like them. They capture the spirit of the book. The book is available as an ebook and the illustrations come out pretty well digitally. The repetitive rhyme in the poems are fun to read. They get your imagination going.

I give this four out of five bookworms.fourbooks


Solve-A-CrimeYOU DO THE MATH: Solve A Crime

Written by Hilary Koll and Steve Mills

Illustrated by Vladimir Aleksic


  • Series: You Do the Math


32 pages – ages 6+

Published by QEB Publishing on April 1, 2015

Synopsis- When a crime is reported, you are called upon to do the math to find out who broke into the safe in an apartment. You then learn about fingerprinting, DNA, alibis, video footage, etc. In math skills you learn about pie charts, fractions, timelines, area, etc. You learn many more skills of both types. Can YOU solve the crime?

What I Thought- This was a really cool book! This series shows you how you will have to use math to do a job well. The job in this book is a police officer/detective. I like how it goes through the crime, and gives you math problems related to what is going on in the case. You learn a lot about crime solving, and just plain old math problems. This book is appropriate for young advanced readers, but does mention blood (but no murder is committed (it mentions it in a statistic)), and using it for a DNA test. There are answers in the back of the book, including a glossary and index too. All in all, it’s a really cool book!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

hospitalThe Berenstain Bears: Hospital Friends

By Mike Berenstain

23 pages – ages 5+

Published by HarperCollins on April 21, 2015

Synopsis- When the Bear family goes to pay their well-wishes to a young family member at a hospital, they get curious about what really goes on in a hospital. Luckily, the family doctor is willing to give a tour of the hospital, explaining how they worked.

What I Thought- This is a nice book. It gives a tour of the average hospital, with operating rooms, x-ray rooms, kid (or “cub”) playrooms, etc. I like that this book helps with the fact that some kids might be afraid of hospitals, but they are actually nice places. The illustrations have that timeless Berenstain feel. It is really cool how the newer stories keep all of the elements we like about the original books. I really liked this book. I think, if anything, that hospitals should all carry a copy of this book, at least in their kids’ section.

BONUS – from the publisher – “All of the author’s royalties are being contributed to the Stan & Jan Berenstain Healthy Kids Foundation, a charitable organization devoted to children’s health issues.”

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review and Giveaway! The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton #PonyTime

25 Jun


Princess and the Pony FINAL TEXT.pdfThe Princess and the Pony

By Kate Beaton

40 pages – ages 4+

Will be published by Arthur A. Levine Books on June 30, 2015

Synopsis- From the Publisher: “Princess Pinecone knows exactly what she wants for her birthday this year. A BIG horse. A STRONG horse. A horse fit for a WARRIOR PRINCESS! But when the day arrives, she doesn’t quite get the horse of her dreams…


From the artist behind the comic phenomenon Hark! A Vagrant, The Princess and the Pony is a laugh-out-loud story of brave warriors, big surprises, and falling in love with one unforgettable little pony.

What I Thought- This was a cute picture book set in viking times. Princess Pinecone is a young princess whose parents don’t seem to understand that she’s a warrior princess. They give her cozy sweaters instead of armor and warrior stuff.


I like how this book is about being yourself, and not what society says you are. It also shows that you can make the best out of any situation… and it has farting ponies ha ha ha. The illustrations have just the right amount of detail and they add to the humor in the story. The story isn’t about girls not being able to be warriors – there are plenty pictures in the illustrations. It’s just that Princess Pinecone’s seems to have been labeled more princess than warrior. The twist in the story (at the battle scene) was unexpected, and made me laugh. The book reminds me of one of those fractured fairy tale cartoons. Overall very cute story with a nice message.


I give this book five out of five bookworms.fivebooks

About the Author

Photo credit: Notker Mahr.

Photo credit: Notker Mahr.

Kate Beaton is the author of Hark! A Vagrant, her #1 New York Times bestselling collection of comics which began as a webcomic in 2007. The Princess and the Pony is her first picture book. She is the recipient of multiple Harvey awards, andher work has been featured in the New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Best American Comics Anthology. Kate lives in Toronto,and you can find her online at and on Twitter as @beatonna.


Learn more at

Visit the author at

Follow Kate Beaton on Twitter

NOT YOUR AVERAGE PRINCESS prize pack!!!!!!! Thanks to the great people at Scholastic, I get to give away TWO copies of THE PRINCESS AND THE PONY !!!

Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing provided by Scholastic.

All you have to do is comment and next week on July second, I will pick two winners out of all the comments – pretty easy peasy huh? :) Good Luck!


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