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My Grandma is a Ninja by Todd Tarpley

14 Apr

grandmaninjaMy Grandma is a Ninja

By Todd Tarpley

Illustrated by Danny Chatzikonstantinou

40 pages – ages 4+

Published by NorthSouth on March 1, 2015

Synopsis- Ethan’s grandma is a ninja. She can use a zip line like nobody’s business, she can do awesome karate moves, she can even do a backflip… in slow motion! How cool is that?! Ethan and his friends love it. That is, until Ethan’s grandma kicks the team’s soccer ball so hard it deflates and everyone gets upset. Ethan is no longer sure having a ninja grandma that great.

What I Thought- OKAY! What kid wouldn’t love this book?! It has a ninja, who actually happens to be an elderly grandmother – PURE AWESOMENESS! The illustrations are funny, wacky, and they flip out at you – in slow motion! This book will have little kids laughing out loud, and big kids rolling on the floor, laughing their lungs out! Mr. Tarpley has written a great book that has a funny circling ending. It kept me chuckling.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

POETRY BONANZA!!!

13 Apr

HOWDY! April is National Poetry month and I have some great books to tell you about. But first –

I’ve got a winner for you!

Not that long ago, I hosted a giveaway for a copy of Donna Galanti’s exciting new adventure book, “Joshua and the Lightning Road”.

Giveaway for US Residents

Giveaway for US Residents

And the winner is…

overthemountainsagain!

I will be emailing you for the address you want your book sent to. Congratulations!

Now on to some poetry!

All of these great books are getting 5 bookworms!

fivebooks

From a Smile Falls a Laugh

fallslaughBy Whit Albright

Illustrated by the Students of Mountain View High School

 

59 pages – ages 5+

Published by A Peaceful Press on July 20, 2009

Synopsis- From GoodReads: “Have a staring contest with the sun, meet a creature made our of cookie dough, visit a volcano that does the strangest thing, and have lunch with a giraffe. From a Smile Falls a Laugh is a whimsical walk into a world of creativity, joy, laughter, compassion and adventure through poems and illustrations. Each of Whit Albright’s poems is illustrated by a young adult who has created an original piece of artwork inspired by the writing. This inventive and entertaining book is meant to be shared by adults and children alike a wonderful read aloud activity for teachers or parents of small children, or a playful experience for kids who are old enough to read it themselves. From a Smile Falls a Laugh contains poems and illustrations that are intended to plant the seeds of hope, nurture caring, and create kindness towards others.

What I Thought- This was a great poetry book. I like that the poems are illustrated by High School Students (one student did the picture for each poem). They are all unique in their styles, so it gives a fresh feel for each poem. Mr. Albright’s poems are funny and will have you laughing out loud! They are creative, whimsical, and very kid-friendly. Mr. Albright really knows how to write a great poem! This is a fun book of poetry. I think that kids would enjoy it, as all the humor is younger-oriented, so the kids would get the jokes. This would make a great bedtime story!

 image009

Shel Silverstein Collection

By Shel Silverstein

ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins

Synopsis- From Publisher:

Falling Up Special Edition:
Twelve new, never-before-published poems by Shel Silverstein have been added to the classic edition of his bestselling poetry book, FALLING UP!

Where the Sidewalk Ends Special Edition:
Happy Birthday, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS! Celebrate 40 years of this favorite bestselling poetry collection by the outrageously funny and profound Shel Silverstein!

Every Thing On It:
The second original book to be published since Silverstein’s passing in 1999. With over 100 never-before-seen poems and illustrations completed before he died and pulled from his personal archives, EVERY THING ON IT will follow in the tradition and format of his other acclaimed bestselling poetry collections!

A Light in the Attic Special Edition:
Twelve new, never-before-published poems by Shel Silverstein have been added to the classic edition of his bestselling poetry book, A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC!

What I Thought- I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Silverstein’s poems, so seeing them here in these four books was a joy. Mr. Silverstein has his style of humorous, black & white drawings that go well with his hilarious poems. They often provide a deeper meaning to the poem (whether humorous or not), like a giant tail of a terrible Hi-Monster is featured on one page, and on the next, you see the tail connecting to a small creature (saying “Hi”). The books are very good, and I was happy to be able to read them. There are 36 new poems in the books – 12 in Where the Sidewalk Ends, 12 in Falling Up, and 12 more in A Light in the Attic – in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Where the Sidewalk Ends! This is a marvelous collection!

 

bronzevilleBronzeville Boys and Girls

By Gwendolyn Brooks

Illustrated by Faith Ringgold

48 pages – ages 4+

Published by Amistad on January 27, 2015

Synopsis- From GoodReads: “In 1956, Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks created a collection of poems that celebrated the joy, beauty, imagination, and freedom of childhood. She reminded us that whether we live in the Bronzeville section of Chicago or any other neighborhood, childhood is universal in its richness of emotions and experiences. And now a brand-new generation of readers will savor Ms. Brooks’s poems in this stunning reillustrated edition that features vibrant paintings by Caldecott Honor artist Faith Ringgold.

What I Thought– This is a nice multicultural poetry book that takes place in the 1950’s (or sometime around then). The poems take place in the Bronzeville section of Chicago, but could be anywhere where there are kids. They are simple poems, narrating from a character’s view. I like how it shows how people thought back then (in one poem, a girl is lamenting that she won’t be able to run anymore because it’s unladylike). Ms. Ringgold’s illustrations add a nice, warm feeling to the poetry. Altogether, they are a great team for this book.

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Goodnight Already! by Jory John

10 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 we’ve all known people like Duck (and Bear).

goodnightGoodnight Already!
By Jory John
Illustrations by Benji Davies 
pages – ages 5+
Published by on

Theme/Topic- Sleep

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “I’ve never been so tired. I could sleep for weeks. Months, even!

Synopsis – From Goodreads: “Bear can’t wait to go to sleep.

But Duck wants to hang out.

How will Bear ever fall asleep?”

Why I liked this book- This is a cute book. One character wants to sleep, the other doesn’t. A perfect scenario for mischief! I like Bear’s expressions, and Duck’s wild ideas. The story has a hint of an endless cycle, and a lot of fun. The pictures make you smile and laugh. Mr. John and Mr. Davies make a great team together, and it really keeps you on your toes. Just when you think you know what will happen next, you are in for a surprise! :) I love this book!

Activities and Resources- 

Talk with your child about bedtimes. Maybe about how they should respect other people’s bedtimes, and not bother them unless if absolutely necessary.

Maybe talk about how Duck could have been a better neighbor to bear.

Check out  the trailer!

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

 

 

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Polar Bear’s Underwear by tupera tupera

3 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 it is a really funny story and the title hooked me. ;)

polarbearPolar Bear’s Underwear
By tupera tupera
pages – ages 5+
Published by Chronicle Books on

Theme/Topic- Lost underwear Matching / finding things

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Poor Polar Bear! He can’t find his underwear!

Synopsis – From Goodreads: “Polar Bear has lost his underwear! Where could it be? There’s only one thing to do: Remove the book’s underwear-shaped bellyband to find the missing pair! Is that Polar Bear’s underwear? No, it’s Zebra’s—see the colorful stripes? What about that itty-bitty pair? No, those belong to Butterfly! And so the search continues, with every page revealing an animal in eye-popping undies.

Why I liked this book- This is a funny picture book that shows animals walking around in their underwear. Polar Bear has lost his underwear, and can’t remember what it looks like, so he and his friend mouse (wearing red undies) set out to find it! They find lots of underwear, but they all belong to different animals! Seeing what the animals are doing, and the little bit of text about it (for example: Pig’s underwear – “Nom nom nom. It’s Pig’s underwear!” (pig is eating)), will have young kids cracking up! The illustrations are slightly wacky, and will make kids laugh! This book team really makes it work! This is a marvelous picture book!

Activities and Resources- 

Chronicle Books has a free activity kit to go along with this book! Click HERE to get it.

You can design another animal’s underwear, based on how they look, what they [can] eat, etc.! What would it look like?

Here is my example –

img021

Click to Enlarge!

 

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

 

 

 

Bunnies and Spring and Superheros OH MY!

1 Apr

With Spring and Easter right around the corner, I have a line up of books that should be on your TBR list!

bunniesBunnies!!!
By Kevan Atteberry
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 27 2015

Synopsis- Declan the monster was taking a hike through the woods, being polite by saying hello to everything he meets. And then, he sees… BUNNIES!!! Like any self-respecting monster, he gets a… tad excited. Just a tad. But you know what? Those bunnies run away! Poor Declan. He just wants to be with the BUNNIES!!!

What I Thought- Well, in my book, any book (hee hee) with 3 exclamation points in the title and a group of multi-coloured bunnies and a cute, fluffy monster on the cover is already a winner! Mr. Atteberry has written a great picture book. I saw that Mr. Atteberry has illustrated many picture books but this is his first author/illustrated book. There are cute illustrations, and a fun storyline. The text is very sparse and the story is told mostly through the illustrations. I kept thinking of Declan as a over-sized toddler running after the bunnies. I really enjoyed this story. I have one last thought on this book – BUNNIES!!!

upinthegardenUp in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
by Kate Messner
Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
52 pages – ages 5+
Published by Chronicle Books on March 3, 2015

Synopsis- A little girl and her nana start/continue a garden, and the book chronicles how they farm and tend to the garden, while animals and bugs do what they naturally do.

What I Thought- This is a really sweet book that explains how nature helps make a garden, with teamwork. You work above ground, they can work below ground. The illustrations are eye-pleasing, and creative. They whimsically show everything happening in the garden. The story line shows bonding between the girl and her nana, and tells you a little about how bugs and animals help a garden (even skunks help!). I really like this picture book!

findingspringFinding Spring
By Carin Berger
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Greenwillow Books on January 27, 2015

Synopsis- Maurice is a bear cub, who is excited to experience his first spring! Sadly, he has to take a [long] nap. But, Maurice is so excited, he can’t wait! So, when his mother goes to sleep, Maurice slips out of the cave, and searches for spring! And, then, when a white flake of spring appears, Maurice is over-joyed. He ends up bringing a huge ball of the white flakes home in his scarf, to show his mother. He takes his nap first, though.

What I Thought- Well, with the fact that it is April and that we just got 4 more inches of snow, I want to find spring too! This book is cute. Maurice is impatient, so he sneaks out and discovers “Spring”. What kid wouldn’t do that? His personality really shines through, and I like his scarf ;) . The story is cute but what really grabs you is the illustrations. They are just cool. They are all collages. The random lines of letters are a nice touch too.

bunniesbunniesAll Hallows Eve: Bunnies! Bunnies! Bunnies!
By David Eveleigh
ebook 5300 words – ages 9+
Published by Smashwords on April 3, 2015

Synopsis- All Hallows Eve is back in an all-new adventure! It’s Easter-time, and Eve is helping at an Easter egg hunt for orphans. Then some greasers (you know, from the 1950’s? After all, Eve lives around then!) wearing bunny-ears and toting pistols come and try to rob the orphanage. Eve goes to stop them (they’re ruining the orphans’ Easter!), and suddenly finds herself as a bunny – and powerless! What can she do?

What I Thought- I am a huge fan of Eve and her adventures. The Eve novela books are written in comic style, but are a written story with some illustrations.  Eve’s adventures are clean reads for kids and they always have a great message with out being “preachy.”Mr. Eveleigh has written a great 13th book in this series. His comic images are peppered throughout the book, and add some humor to the story. The book itself combines humor and mystery into a great story – add some Eve superhero powers and you get a book any kids will like! I like how Mr. Eveleigh keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times. I can’t wait for book #14!

I hope you find these great books! :D They all get 5 out of 5 bookworms from me! fivebooks

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Cat & Bunny By Mary Lundquist

20 Mar

Before I get to another fabulous Perfect Picture Book Friday pick – when you are done here, click on over the Felicia and my vlog The Write Chat where we are interviewing JENNIFER LYNN ALVAREZ today! CLICK HERE!

alvarez

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 has a really cute story.

catandbunnyCat & Bunny

Written and Illustrated By Mary Lundquist

4 – 8 years
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Balzer + Bray on January 27, 2015

Genre: Fiction

Theme/Topic: Friendship/Making New Friends/Keeping Old Friends

Opening and Synopsis:Cat and Bunny were born on the same day of the same month in the same year. Right from the start, they did everything together. Just the two of them.

What I Thought- This is a marvelous picture book! It really makes you feel good inside. Congratulations to Ms. Lundquist because this is her debut picture book! Judging from this one, we are in for more great stories! The illustrations are very sweet and cute. I like how they look like kids in animal footie pajamas. :)  The story is a great way to teach kids that you can have more than one friend. It also gives the message that you can play with more than one friend and still have a BFF. This is a wonderful picture book!

You can check out interior illustrations at Ms. Lundquist’s website – click HERE.

Activities and Resources-

Teacher Planet has a ton of suggested lesson plans for making friends in school. Click HERE to go THERE.

In the book, Cat made up a new game (called the “Made-Up Game). It would be a fun activity for kids to make up their own game and have others play it. My sister and I used to do this all the time. :)

 

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Who Wants a Hug? by Jeff Mack

13 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 find the humor in it hilarious and I think it may ba a good book for kids who are and are not “huggers.”

hugWho Wants a Hug?

Written and illustrated by Jeff Mack

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by HarperCollins on January 6, 2015

Theme/Topic- Hugging/Trying something new

Genre- Nonfiction

Opening and Synopsis-  Opening -“Everyone liked bear. No one liked skunk.

Synopsis (publisher’s description) – Everyone likes hugs, especially when Bear gives them! Everyone, that is, except for Skunk. Bear really gets on Skunk’s nerves. He’s too happy . . . and he’s always giving way too many hugs! Skunk has the perfect plan to keep Bear from giving any more hugs. Will it work?

Why I liked this book- I know this may surprise you, as I [normally] am not the hugging type of guy, but I really liked this book. Mr. Mack has written and illustrated a funny, cute story about how a skunk doesn’t like that a bear is liked more. Well, this may explain why:

 

 

 

Picture from JeffMack.com. Click on picture to see more.

Picture from JeffMack.com. Click on picture to see more.

Isn’t that illustration awesome! I like Skunk’s top hat. :) The story is really nice, and would make a great read-aloud. The pictures are warm and fuzzy (there are a bunch of woodland creatures – why WOULDN’T it be fuzzy? ;) ) and make you smile. To me, it feels like a fairy-tale a bit, mostly because Skunk has a top hat (I WANT that top hat!!!). Mr. Mack has written another great story. There is humor throughout the book that will make little kids laugh and big kids chuckle!

Activities and Resources-

It would be fun (if you read this book in class) for kids to bring in a stuffed animal they can hug while reading the book.

I found this teacher guide from Super Duper Publications on teaching kids about personal space and how to tell if someone needs more. Click HERE.

To see more of the book’s interior and learn more about Jeff Mack, visit his website by clicking HERE.

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

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

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