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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!

fivebooks

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!

NOW ON TO THE REVIEWS!

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

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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…

princess-and-the-pony-1

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.

PrincessandPony2

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.

princess-pinecone-pony3

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 www.beatontown.com and on Twitter as @beatonna.

LEARN MORE

Learn more at Scholastic.com

Visit the author at BeatonTown.com

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!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Beach House by Deanna Caswell

12 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 summer breaks are starting everywhere, and families are going on vacations a lot.

beachBeach House
Written by Deanna Caswell
Illustrated by Amy June Bates
32 pages – ages 3+
Published by Chronicle Books on May 12, 2015

Theme/Topic- going to the beach / waiting

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening

“A long, long drive.
It’s been a year
of dreaming, waiting.
Summer’s here.

Synopsis – from GoodReads: “In a funny and heartfelt celebration of family, vacations, and the joy of the sea, Deanna Caswell and Amy June Bates capture the essence of summer—building sand castles, jumping the waves, and watching the stars come out after a long day at the beach—and the love that warms every moment.

Why I picked this book- This is a really well done summer book. The characters are never named, which is a great touch. The warm feeling the watercolors generate is perfect for this book. I really enjoyed this book, and the rhyme in it had a soft, there-but-not-there feel. This was a great book I would recommend to any family going on vacation to read (whether on vacation or not) or if you just want to dream about warm summer days. :)

Activities and Resources-

I found a cute seashell fish craft for kids on the Crafts by Amanda blog – click HERE

Education.com had a list of 10 Super Sand Activities HERE

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

Here are some other great summer books you may want to look for!

onmybeachOn My Beach
By Sara Gillingham
Illustrated by Lorena Siminovich
Puppet board book – ages 2+
Published by Chronicle Books on May 19, 2015

What I Thought- This is a cute board book. It gives a little about a day in the life of a crab, and also gets kids interacting, with the puppet it has.

~

aquaAqualicious
By Victoria Kann
Series: Pinkalicious
pages – ages 5+
Published by HarperFestival on March 3, 2015

What I Thought- This was a great book! It was cool how the mermaid/merminnie in the book was an “actual” thing at the beach for Pinkalicious and her family to see, and not just in Pinkalicious’ imagination. This is a really cool series!

~

paddingtonbeachPaddington at the Beach
Written by Michael Bond
Illustrated by R.W. Alley
32 pages – ages 3+
Published by HarperCollins on June 30, 2009

What I Thought- The Paddington books are a great series. I like how this book slightly encourages counting (seagull #1, etc.), and has a funny ending. The illustrations help make this a good book, too!

 

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chubeachChu’s Day at the Beach
Written by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Adam Rex
32 pages – ages 3+
Published by HarperCollins on April 7, 2015

What I Thought- This was a really cute book. I like that the animals WANT Chu to sneeze again, even though his first sneeze messed the beach up. It was nice.

~

 

intowavesIn the Waves
Written by Lennon and Maisy Stella
Illustrated by Steve Björkman
40 pages – ages 3+
Published by HarperCollins on April 28, 2015

What I Thought- This was a great interpretation of a song by Lennon and Maisy Stella. Lennon and Maisy are the stars of the ABC TV show, Nashville. The illustrations are fun and really cool!

From HaperCollins –

Head to www.harpercollinschildrens.com/inthewaves to listen and sing along as the girls gather their boogie boards and sip homemade lemonade.”

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad by Liz Climo

5 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 it is really cute and a good pick for father’s day.

roryRory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad
By Liz Climo
40 pages – ages 3+
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on May 5, 2015

Theme/Topic- Father-Son Bonding

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “This is Rory.”

Synopsis – From Goodreads: “Meet Rory, the dinosaur. He loves spending time with his dad, but today he wants to go on his own adventure and explore his island home. He can’t wait to tell his dad all about the things he can do all by himself, from crossing rivers to finding shelter from the rain. Little does Rory know, his father is never far behind. There’s nothing Rory’s dad won’t do for his intrepid son–he’ll even let him think he’s made the journey all by himself.

Why I liked this book- This is probably one of the best family-bonding picture books I’ve read this year. I like how, even though Rory is going on an adventure, he still “listens” to his dad (Rory “isn’t allowed to swim without his dad.”) and follows his rules. Rory is a good kid. The illustrations include some humor for adults/older readers (like the titles on the books Rory’s dad reads – “Roar and Peace” :) ) The book is a great story about parents watching our for their kids ut still letting them have an adventure. All in all, it’s a great mixture of fun for everyone.

Activities and Resources- 

Think about a time when you and your dad had an “adventure”. Then write about it! (It’s okay to exaggerate a little) For example, once my dad and I were walking through the woods, and we stumbled upon a flock of turkeys;

The forest was silent. A man and child crept through the woods. It was now or never – gobble gobble gobble! A huge flock of giant turkeys came out and starting attacking the humans with ninja moves and fast reflexes. The man was scared, but the boy was not. He knew what to do. HI-YAH! And Thanksgiving was plentiful.

;)

Since Father’s Day is approaching, why don’t you make a homemade card for your dad?

I see Ms. Climo has another book coming out in October – I already have it on my TBR list – mostly because of the title. ;)

lobster

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

29 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 really gets its point across!


rudecakeRude Cakes

By Rowboat Watkins
40 pages – ages 3+
Will be Published by Chronicle Books on June 2, 2015 (ARC reviewed)

Theme/Topic- Manners / Being nice

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Rude cakes never say please, [Gimme]

Synopsis – From Goodreads: Who knew that cakes were so rude?! In this deliciously entertaining book, a not-so-sweet cake—who never says please or thank you or listens to its parents—gets its just desserts. Mixing hilarious text and pictures, Rowboat Watkins, a former Sendak fellow, has cooked up a laugh-out- loud story that can also be served up as a delectable discussion starter about manners or bullying, as it sweetly reminds us all that even the rudest cake can learn to change its ways.

Why I liked this book- This is a really fun picture book. It has cakes and cyclopses – what’s not to like? I like how it cleverly teaches young kids to be nice and use their manners. The pictures are cute and funny. They also help get the point across.

rudecake2

This is one of the most clever picture books on manners that I’ve seen! It uses baked goods and giant cyclopses to explain how you can be well mannered – how do people think of these things?!?

Activities and Resources- 

Chronicle Books has supplied a ton of activities to go along with the book. You can download an activity kit – HERE.

Get a sharing poster HERE.

rudecake3You can also download a phenakistoscope (fen-uh-kissed-oh-skope – my new word of the day) template and make a magic wheel animation of rude cakes HERE!

rudecake5

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Sea Bones by Bob Barner AND NEW Write Chat Episode!

22 May

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 Super-Folding Author Tom Angleberger!!!!!!

yodaLARGEfakemustache

=

angleberg

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 is a fun nonfiction book for school.

saebonesSea Bones
By Bob Barner
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Chronicle Books on April 14, 2015

Theme/Topic- Things in the sea

Genre- Nonfiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Wonderful creatures live in the sea.

Synopsis – From Goodreads: “Author and illustrator Bob Barner makes waves with his signature rhyming text and colorful illustrations in this lush picture book about the sea. Filled with incredible fishy facts about vertebrates, invertebrates, endoskeletons, and exoskeletons, plus an underwater informational chart, Sea Bones will make young readers want to dive right in!

Why I liked this book- This is a really cool book that teaches you a lot of things about creatures of the sea, and their structural supports. The torn paper pictures have a cool feel to them that makes you want to look at them for ages.

Sea-Bones2The book is meant for younger kids – to introduce them to vertebrates and invertebrates that live in the sea and I think the illustrations do a lot to capture your imagination. The story has a sing-song rhyme to it that makes the text flow.

The book has a cool fact paragraph near the bottom of the page for more advanced readers/read-alouds. The book includes a mini-chart on sea animals and their structural supports. It inspired me to ask about other fish. It is a really cool nonfiction book for younger kids!

Activities and Resources- 

 You don’t have to go far for a resource – there is a handy reference chart in the back of the book to help explain the sea animals and their structures.

Why don’t you make up your own sea animal and design a structure for it? What will it look like? How will it live?

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Yummy Stories by Lil L. Alexander

15 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 cute way to get kids to eat healthy!


yummyYummy Stories

By Lil L. Alexander
Illustrations by Anda Cofaru
56 pages – ages 3+
Published by CreateSpace on December 9, 2014

Theme/Topic- Nutrition / Life Lessons

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Once upon a time, there was a tiny pea, merry and green, called Peachy Pea.”

Synopsis – From Goodreads: 

Why I liked this book- It’s awesome how this book multitasks – it teaches about eating veggies and fruits (they take place in the stories, and they’re in the background – often part of the scenery), but it also teaches life lessons on being kind, friendly, honest, etc. The illustrations are really cute and make you feel great inside. The mini-stories it has are told like old-time fairy tale, or are played off of one. There are six stories in all. Ms. Alexander’s style is a cute, warm story.  Not many Self-Published Books get on my Perfect Picture Book Friday posts, but I really liked it promotes healthy eating. This is a great book for bedtimes, as it can be read in several nights.

Activities and Resources- 

Get kids to be interested in healthy food by creating food art! You can make an image out of veggies and fruits! Be creative – then you get to eat it! (Images have a Creative Commons public license).

kiwi-583162_640 banana-342575_640

Make your own story involving healthy foods! Who would be in it?

I wrote mine by fracturing/retelling a fairy tale / poem (I think Mother Goose):

Jack Horn could eat no corn,

His wife could eat no bean,

So between the two of them,

They ate the garden clean.

To learn more about Yummy Stories, food art, and organic gardening, please visit Ms. Alexander’s website HERE.

 

 

 

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

 

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