Archive | Age 1-5 RSS feed for this section

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Cat Says Meow: And Other Animalopoeia by Michael Arndt

18 Apr

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 onomatopoeia!
catsaysCat Says Meow: And Other Animalopoeia
by Michael Arndt

36 pages – ages 3+
Published by Chronicle Books on March 4, 2014

Theme/Topic- Onomatopoeia

Genre- Nonfiction

Opening and Synopsis- 



Opening: First page (used with permission from Chronicle Books)

Cat Says Meow_Int_WoofPublisher’s description “Dog says woof . . . pig says oink . . . cow says moo. Animals and the sounds they make are paired up in playfully compelling ways in this eye-catching illustrated gift book featuring bold colors and an engaging use of onomatopoeia. Kids and parents will delight in discovering the ways in which the letters that spell out each animal’s sound are key elements of that animal’s illustration. With so much to see and to sound out, kids will relish this unique visual and educational experience, brimming with color and letters.”


Why I liked this book- I love onomatopoeia and aninalopoeia! This is an awesome book. The whole book is well done. I think it is great for kids learning to read and learning animal sounds. I think that the pictures are extremely unusual and eye-pleasing. I really like how the book is organized, and that the pictures have different fonts for different purposes. It is totally cool. I think that kids and parents will love this book.

Activities and Resources-

I found some great onomatopoeia worksheets for teachers and parents to use HERE and HERE.

Check out this Onomatopoeia video!


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

Little Dog in the Middle of the Road by Sharon P. Stanley

14 Apr

Happy Monday!

Before my review today, I get to announce the winners of Mo Willems’ newest book, “The Pigeon Needs A Bath!”


The lucky winners were chosen by putting all the names in a hat and my sister Josie picked them out.

The winners are -

DEBBIE AUSTIN (who really, really, really wanted to win)

KIMBERLY (and her hot-dog obsessed toddler),


STACY JENSEN (which is good because apparently Enzo needs a bath too)!!!


I’ll email you guys so you can claim your prize! :)


little dog cover finalLittle Dog in the Middle of the Road
by Sharon P. Stanley
Illustrated by Deidre Carr
28 pages – ages 4+
Published by Silver Tongue Press on November 3, 2013

Little dog’s owner is going on a trip and she tells him to stay put. Don’t worry, Mrs. Thistleberry is going to come look after him. But Mrs. Thistleberry doesn’t like Little Dog very much. She doesn’t play games with him. Little Dog decides there is only one thing to do  – go look for his person! Little Dog wiggles out of the yard and sets off to search. After a while, Little Dog decides this wasn’t such a great idea. Will he ever find his person?

Who doesn’t love a good “lost dog” story? :) This is a very good book for young kids to read by themselves and I think it would also make a great read-aloud. I think that Ms. Stanley’s writing style is one that kids will enjoy. The words are simple so younger kids will be able to read it by themselves. The illustrations are very cute and will make you smile. The cover image is a bit “smushed” but I think that was just a publication problem. The interior illustrations don’t have that problem. This book would make an excellent bedtime story.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

This book was nominated as a perfect picture book by Susanna Leonard Hill! Check out Ms. Hill’s review HERE.

Sue Morris of Kid-Lit Reviews, reviewed the book too – Click HERE!

Check out the book’s trailer!

Easter pick – God’s Amazing World by Eileen Spinelli

13 Apr

Here’s a great book for Easter by one of my favorite authors!



God’s Amazing World
by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Mélanie Florian
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Ideals Children’s Books, an imprint of Ideals Publications on March 1, 2014

Cousins Gracie and Bo are amazed by the world around them. Gracie tells Bo about the 7 Days of Creation. Together the children discover how great and beautiful the world is.

This is an extremely cute book! The illustrations are just beautiful and a perfect fit for the story. I love the two little cats in the background of  pretty much all the pictures. They are funny. Gracie and Bo are great characters. I like the happy feeling the story has. I like how Gracie explains the 7 Days of Creation to her younger cousin by just playing outside. It is very simple and fun but not “preachy”. Mrs. Spinelli has done it yet again! :D

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mrs. Spinelli and her other books, please visit her website HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Florian and her illustrations, please visit her website HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday! My Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy

11 Apr

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I think that this book conveys the story of a friendship between a young girl and her disabled friend.

9781615992119-Perfect_cvr4.inddMy Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy
by Shaila Abdullah and Aanyah Abdullah
30 pages – ages 4+
Published by Loving Healing Press on January 1, 2014

Theme/Topic- art/friendship/cerebral palsy

Genre- Realistic fiction

Opening and Synopsis- 


“My friend Suhana is like no other girl I know.”

An unnamed 7-year-old girl has a special friend she visits. Her friend can’t talk or walk or do any of the things her other friends can do, but they are still friends. The girl learns to use art to communicate with her special friend, her friend with cerebral palsy.

Why I liked this book- The book was co-authored by Shaila Abdullah’s 10 year-old daughter, Aanyah. In the back of the book it says that Aanyah is “drawn to children with physical and mental disabilities.” Aanyah also volunteers at a special needs community center and hopes to open a special needs school some day. – Just plain awesomeness! The illustrations in this book are well done and sweet looking. I love the softness of the story and the genuine good feeling you get by reading it. I like how the girl reaches out to Suhana through art and that  the girl and Suhana are the same age. This book is very well done.

Activities and Resources-
There is a special note from the authors right in the back of the book about cerebral palsy and friendships.  It points out that kids with disabilities make friends just like the rest of us. A great activity is to do what the main character does in the book! Have your kids make/spend time with kids with disabilities. Volunteer at an organization or event.

I found a great blog article on a blog called -”Love That Max: Special Needs Blog” with the tag line “A blog about kids with special needs who kick butt” :) The article lists 50 ways special needs kids are the same as typical kids. Click HERE to read it.

Scholastic has an article for teachers and how to meet the special learning challenges for kids with cerebral palsy. Click HERE to read it.

Cerebral palsy (dot) org has a ton of information and advice for parents, kids and teachers – Click HERE.

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

Sue Morris of Kid-Lit Reviews, reviewed this book too – Click HERE to read it!

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems Review and GIVEAWAY!!!

7 Apr


I’ll get right to the point. I’ve got three – YES 3! – copies of Mo Willems new book The Pigeon Needs a Bath to give away! Let me know in the comments if you want to be included in the drawing. On April 14th I will announce the winners. To pick the winners, I will put all the names of the commentors who say they want to win the Pigeon in a hat and my sister Josie will pick 3 names out. You have until Sunday April 13th to enter. I am sorry but the contest is only open to US addresses (no PO boxes). Good luck!

PigeonNeedsaBathThe Pigeon Needs a Bath

By Mo Willems

40 pages – ages 3+
Published by Disney-Hyperion on April 1, 2014

Summary - The Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon‘s not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It’s going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.

What I thought –

Mo Willems + Pigeon = Awesomesauce

I love Mo Willems. His humor and story telling skills are incredible. He didn’t disappoint with his newest Pigeon book. I love how there are “stink” fumes drawn coming off Pigeon and the flies are even grossed out by him… or is Pigeon a her… gee, I never really thought about that… *NOTE* just googled it – Mo Willems purposely doesn’t have Pigeon being a guy or girl, that’s why he likes animals, you don’t have to say (click HERE for the interview I found that answer to in People Magazine) what gender the animal is. Very cool!  I think parents with kids who don’t like to take baths or maybe are scared of the water can read this with their kids and they can have fun with it. Like all other Mo Willems’ books, I found myself reading this a couple of times over already. His books never get old!

Five out of five bookworms – and get that Pigeon a bath!!! fivebooks

To learn more -

Visit the Official Site

Follow @The_Pigeon on Twitter



About the Author
Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity). Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. And his celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as three Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, and Let’s Go for a Drive!). Other favorites include Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and City Dog, Country Frog, illustrated by Jon J Muth. Mo lives in Massachusetts with his family.

Don’t forget to comment and tell me if you want in the drawing for a copy of The Pigeon Needs a Bath!!!

Check out the book’s trailer -

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Snow White’s Seven Patches by Jewel Kats

4 Apr

You know when someone asks you that question- “If you had the opportunity to sit alone in a room with any author of your choice and talk to him/her…” I found myself in that situation yesterday with Rick Riordan. I am honored to have been picked to be on HuffPost’s Live “Tell Me Why” segment with my friend Felicia (kid-author extraordinaire who wrote “The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets” click HERE to go to her website). I have to thank Felicia and her mom (and my mom). We practiced with each other ahead of time and that really helped.


Me talking to Mr. Riordan before the segment.

In the “Tell Me Why” segment, they invite kids to appear and talk about what they are passionate about. Felicia and I are passionate about books and reading. Click HERE if you’d like to see the segment. When I joined the Google chat yesterday the moderator was there and Mr. Riordan. Then the moderator dropped out to go take care of things so it was just me and Mr. Riordan – so I was trying to appear calm and normal but thinking  “AAAHHHH!!! – AAAAHHHH!!! – AAAAHHH!!!” I managed a “So, how are you doing Mr. Riordan?” in my oh so cool cracking voice. He said he was great and then commented that he liked my collection of books (which were all his I put on the top self of my bookcase ;) ) and he liked my Godzilla that was attacking his books. ;) Then I felt much less nervous. He was so nice and made me feel really at ease. I got to ask him about his upcoming book (a short story) “The Staff of Serapis” and Mr. Riordan talked about how he thought the “blended”  gods in mythology were cool (Serapis was a god used by a Greek ruler of Egypt to unite the Greeks and Egyptians under his rule).  Mr Riordan asked me how Felicia and I ended up on the segment and I started to tell him and the google hangout got dropped! So that was the end of my very cool pre-experience experience. Sorry if I’m being geeky about it, but hey, I’m a book geek. :)


Felicia and me with Mr. Riordan in a google hangout!


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 have never seen a picture book about Vitiligo.

snowsevenSnow White’s Seven Patches: A Vitiligo Fairy Tale

By Jewel Kats

Illustrated by Dan Goodfellow

40 pages – ages 6+
Published by Loving Healing Press on November 4, 2013


Theme/Topic- vitiligo/retelling fairy tale

Genre- Fiction/help book

Opening and Synopsis- 


“There once lived a very rich lady named Ivy. She thought the world of her own looks. Her beauty pageant crown only added to her arrogance.”

In this modern re-telling of the fairy tale, Snow White was a beautiful girl who happened to have the condition vitiligo (a condition where white patches appear all over the skin). Snow’s vain mother who is so hung up on beauty hides Snow White away and steals the wonderful stories Snow White writes and publishes them as her own. Ivy can’t keep up the lie forever, especially when the Magic Mirror knows the truth!

Why I liked this book- I have seen people with vitiligo before but I never knew what it was.  I like that this book has a princess who doesn’t look like all the other princesses – just like people are all different. I think this is a great book to teach kids about vitiligo so they understand when they see someone with it. I also like the part of the story about plagiarism – how the evil Ivy stole all of Snow White’s work and published it as her own.

Activities and Resources-

I didn’t find a lot of activities about vitiligo, but I think it is a good idea to learn about it and teach kids about it. So I found places with good information.

For adults the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has a lot of information on vitiligo to help you understand it. Click HERE.

You can visit the National Vitiligo Foundation HERE. It has tips on how to help kids with the condition.

To learn more about the author, please visit her website HERE.


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

Tummy Monster by Romelle Broas

17 Mar

Tummy Monster COVERTummy Monster

By  Romelle Broas

Illustrated by Sam Luu

epicture book – ages 4+

Published on December 2nd 2013 by MeeGenius

Grumble, grumble, RUMBLE!!! This boy is having some tummy troubles. His Tummy Monster won’t stop making noises! What can a kid do when a monster won’t keep quiet? This is getting quite embarrassing!

This is an extremely cute book – on a topic I haven’t seen before – growling tummies! Who hasn’t had one of those? The illustrations are awesome – they remind me a bit of Japanese Manga. Have a look!


Isn’t that great? This is a good story for pre-schoolers, and kindergarteners. I like how the MeeGenius book has a READ TO ME format. It has sound effects. I like that. It will make young children laugh. The rhyme is well-done. I love how it flows when you read it out loud. This book is excellent for its age-range! :D

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks


Available at MeeGenius! (click HERE).

To learn more about Ms. Broas, please visit her blog HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Nightingale Who Lost and Found His Song

13 Mar

I know, I know – you are saying “But Erik, it’s Thursday!”

Well yes, BUT in some parts of the world it is Friday and tomorrow (Friday here) I have a special creative kid post that has to get posted on Friday and I have a great picture book to tell you about so I am going to pretend I am blogging from Australia and it’s already Friday.


G’Day Mates!

Before I get to my PPBF pick, I want to tell you about an interview that Tomato and Pea did (yes, Tomato and Pea, the characters from my book)! Click HERE to join up with character book club where Tomato and Pea are interviewed by Taylor Davis of The Flame of Findul!

NEXT I have a winner to announce!

I was lucky to get a great prize pack for the 45th Anniversary of Eric Carle’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

ToteandBookPrizeThe winner of the books, CDs and totes (yes the winner gets two of each) chosen by my sister Josie from all the names in a hat is…


Congratulations Ms. Greenley! I will be emailing you to get your address.

Now onto PPBF!

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 of the unique point of view of this bullying story.

nightingaleThe Nightingale who Lost and Found His Song

By Lisa Flynn

Illustrated by Josefina Hernandez

Available as an ebook – ages 5+

Published by Twigs Publishing on December 15, 2013

Theme/Topic- Bullying

Genre- Fiction/help book

Opening and Synopsis- 

“Nightingale kicked at the dirt with his nightingale feet, while fat, sad nightingale tears rolled down his tiny, feathered cheeks. A very rare thing, as nightingales generally don’t cry.”

Nightingale lost his voice but not because he was bullied, it was because he stood by and did nothing when a schoolmate was bullied. Nightingale didn’t do the right thing and lost his courage and his voice. His woodland friends help him find his voice and his courage again.

Why I liked this book- This is a really sweet story. I like the different telling of a bullying story in it – the MC wasn’t bullied but stood by while someone else was. Nightingale is a character you really end up caring for. I think kids will understand how scared and sad he feels. The illustrations are very well done. They add to the feeling of the story. I like how Nightingale’s friends help him find his voice again.  I love the message – we have a voice to say things, and we should try to say the right things. 

Activities and Resources-

The Cartoon Network has a whole campaign called “Stop Bullying: Speak Up!” There are tips for parents, kids and teachers about how to speak up if you see bullying. There are a ton of activities including videos with different scenarios and examples of what to do in situations. Click HERE to go to the site.

The Office Depot Foundation also has a program called “Be The Difference. Speak Up Against Bullying.” They teamed up with he music group One Direction to spread the word about what kids can do about bullying. At the website (click HERE) you can find tips and videos about what to do in bullying situations. 

To ‘Like’ Twigs Publishing on Facebook, click HERE!

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Very Hungry Caterpillar 45th Anniversary!

7 Mar

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I think the 45th anniversary of this book is a good occasion to remember what a great picture book it is!

Hey I get to do an AWESOME give-away too!!! Read to the bottom! :)



TheVeryHungryCaterpillarThe Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle

13 Pages – ages 1+

Published by Philomel (Penguin Group) on March 23, 1994

Theme/Topic- Nature/Caterpillars

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis-

“In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf.”

Watch out – when that egg hatches there’s going to be a VERY hungry caterpillar! :)

Why I liked this book-

Who doesn’t love this book?!? I will never get tired of reading about the caterpillar eating and eating his way through the book. :)

Mr Carle’s artwork is incredible too.

Here’s what the publisher has to say about The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s 45th Anniversary –

“Since its publication in 1969, 36 million copies of the book have sold worldwide and it has been published in 55 languages. That year the book was also named one of the best children’s books of the year by The New York Times, and it has since become a beloved, must-own classic. Today, every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is sold.”

WOAH! A book every 30 seconds!

Activities and Resources-

Loni Edwards nominated The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a PPBF book a few years ago. Check her post out HERE.

Let’s celebrate the day with Eric Carle!


“Eric Carle ( is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. He has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books have sold around the world. In 2002, Eric and his wife Barbara opened The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art ( in Amherst, MA, a 40,000 square foot space dedicated to inspiring a love of art among children by introducing them to picture book art by renowned artists from around the world.”

You can hop on over to the official party page HERE and join in the fun. There are a ton of activities and games and a video greeting from Mr. Carle himself!

You can also join in the fun and enter some great give-aways at the World of Eric Carle Facebook Page HERE.

Speaking of give-aways – check this out!

One super lucky blog reader of mine will get to win a Hungry Caterpillar prize pack! The pack includes two 45th anniversary totes and two board books and cd! You get two of everything so you can keep one for yourself and share one with a friend!

ToteandBookPrizeToteI know what you are saying – “Erik tell us how we can enter!” Okay, here it is – just comment! :D I will put everyone’s name in a hat and Josie will pick one out next Thursday and I will announce the winner next Friday. The prize pack will ship directly from the company doing the give-away. I am sorry to say that the contest is only open to US mailing addresses only.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Peter Panda Melts Down by Artie Bennett

21 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 I think everyone has a melt down now and again. ;)

Peter-Panda-Melts-Down-Hardcover-P9781609054113Peter Panda Melts Down

by Artie Bennett

Illustrated by John Nez

2 – 5 years

Hardcover: 40 pages

Publisher: Blue Apple Books (February 11, 2014)

Theme/Topic- Temper Tantrums

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis-


Let’s meet the Pandas.

Here’s Peter. He’s three!

And Mama, who calls,

“Climb down from that tree!”

Peter Panda is a good little cub but he gets VERY upset when things don’t go his way, or if he looses something, or if he has to do something he doesn’t want to do, or if… well, you get the idea. Mama Panda is very patient, but even the best Mama’s sometimes have enough!

Why I liked this book – This is a very cute book that I think young kids will really enjoy. Peter Panda is very cute, and understandable. Mr. Bennett’s story really shows a toddler melt down very well! I think a lot of parents will relate to this book. I think the illustrator really captures the emotions on the Panda family. Just LOOK!


I also like the twist at the end of the story. I actually laughed out loud! I also like that Mama Panda throws a tantrum. That was hysterical. My mom told me that once I put her on time out when I was a toddler because she got frustrated and yelled. ;)


I think kids will love this book. Mr. Bennett has done it again, even though he left his normally scheduled train to write this book. He wrote the VERY awesome Butt Book and Poopendous (see my review HERE). I got to meet Mr. Bennett at a book signing I was at. It’s so nice when you meet an author and he turns out to be a really great guy. He also promised me that he will get back to the important stuff with a book about burps and farts that comes out in July. ;)


Activities and Resources –

PBS Kids has a whole section on how to talk to your kids about melt downs and gives good examples. Click HERE to read the article. has tips to prevent melt downs in toddlers – click HERE. has great advice on what to do during the tantrum – click HERE.

Visit Mr. Bennett’s site HERE!

Follow Mr. Bennett on Twitter HERE!

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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,621 other followers

%d bloggers like this: