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Perfect Picture Book Friday! Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato

12 Sep

I HAVE BEEN WAITING AND WAITING for Perfect Picture Book Friday to come back from summer vacation to tell you about this book!

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 Little Elliot had me at the cover!

 

littleelliotbigcityLittle Elliot, Big City

Written and Illustrated by Mike Curato

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on August 26, 2014

Theme/Topic- Making friends / Having a cupcake ;)

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- (publisher’s description)

“Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter—a friend.”

Why I liked this book- Little Elliot is an amazingly cute little elephant. Who doesn’t love him? Come on? Who didn’t see Elliot on the cover and go “Awwwww”? ;) Mr. Curato has written a great story about friendship. I like how Elliot meets someone smaller than him and together they tackle the big city! The illustrations are magnificent, and if you don’t believe me, just take a look!

littleelintIsn’t that great? I like how it seems to take place in the 1940’s. The cars are well-drawn (and pretty cool). The clothing on the people match the time period too. I love the feel you get from just the pictures (like looking at an old picture). This story is awesome also! I think that it would make a marvelous read-a-loud and a book to teach that with a little help, we can meet our challenges! :)

 

 

Activities and Resources-

I love it when publishers have activity guides to go along with their books! Check out the parent and educator guide for Little Elliot HERE!

 Kindergarten-Lessons.com has a list of suggested friendship activities for the classroom. Click HERE to go THERE

To learn more about Little Elliot, Big City, please visit the publisher’s website HERE.

To learn more about Mr. Curato and his other works, please visit his website HERE.

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

Why Did The Chicken Cross My Blog?

11 Sep

Why Did The Chicken Cross My Blog?

To get her book reviewed of course!

I have a dynamic duo of delightful chicken picture books to tell you about!

 

Henny

Written and Illustrated by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books on January 7, 2014

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Summary (from the inside jacket) – “Henny wasn’t a typical chicken. Henny had arms. And dreams. And plans. Big Plans.”

 

What I thought – This is a hilarious picture book about being unique! Henny isn’t sure what to do with her arms – she liked them, yet she didn’t like them. They made her different (good), and they made her different (bad). This is a wonderful story about finding yourself. Henny doesn’t know what to do with her arms and the results are awesome! Here is an example of what I mean (plus you get to see the awesome illustrations):

See what I mean? Ms. Stanton has created a wonderful story about a unique chicken with a wonderful meaning – be yourself.

I give Henny five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Henny, please visit the publisher’s website HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Stanton and her other works, please visit her website HERE.

 

bravechickBrave Chicken Little

Retold and Illustrated by Robert Byrd

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Viking Juvenile on August 7, 2014

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Summary (from the inside jacket) -

Whack!
What’s that?
Could it be? A piece of the sky!
Oh my!

Chicken Little and his friends run, run, run to tell the king. Nothing stands in the way except…the sly Foxy Loxy. Surely they have time to stop for lunch with Foxy and his kits. But what happens when Chicken Little and company find themselves on the menu?

What this classic story needs is a new ending and a brave hero. And maybe this time, it’s Chicken Little!”

What I thought – This book is a marvelous retelling of “Chicken Little”! I love that our young chick here is a real problem-solver. When faced with a serious situation, he calmly handles it (unlike in the original story). The illustrations are breath-taking, and I think it is really cool how they have an old-time feeling to them. I like that the clothes match the time period the art style portrays. Mr. Byrd has written a wonderful version of Chicken Little while still keeping the great fairytale feel to the story!

I give this 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about this great re-telling of the classic story, please visit the publisher’s website HERE.

Great Back-to-School Picture Books from HarperCollins!

1 Sep

Before I get to tell you about some great back-to-school books, I get to announce that the winner of a signed copy of Jenifer Alvarez’s Guardian Herd: Starfire  (see my review HERE) is 

Rebecca “Franticmommy” Flansburg!

WOO! Congratulations M. Flansburg, I will be emailing you to get the address you want the book sent to! 

guardian

Now to tell you about some GREAT picture books!

 

chuChu’s First Day of School

By Neil Gaiman

Illustrated by Adam Rex

32 pages – ages 4+
Published by HarperCollins on June 24, 2014

 

Summary (from the inside jacket): It is Chu’s first day of school. Chu is nervous. He hopes the other boys and girls will be nice. Will they like him? What will happen at school today? Will Chu do what Chu does best?

What I thought: This was a very cute book. I like that it shows Chu being afraid that the other kids may not like him (not just being afraid to go to school). I think a lot of kids have this fear. On top of the nice story, the illustrations are wonderful and had a slightly realistic feeling to them. I think it made them very unique images.

chu2

Chu is adorable. I love his aviator helmet and goggles. Mr. Gaiman has written a nice picture book about going back to school. I love Chu’s talent, or as his new teacher says, “what he can do.” I think this book will help kids who are nervous about what other kids will think of them at school.

There is a printable activity to go with the book on the publisher’s website – click HERE

To learn more about Chu, please visit Mr. Gaiman’s website HERE

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littlelolaLittle Lola

by Julie Saab and David Gothard

32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Greenwillow Books on April 22, 2014

Summary (from the inside jacket): Little Lola loves everything! So when she discovers school, you can be sure that she’ll love every minute of it. Yes, she’s a cat. (And when was the last time you saw a cat in school?) But being a cat never stopped Lola!

What I thought: THIS BOOK IS HILARIOUS!!! I thought this was going to be a cute little kitty going to school book, but wow – Lola is one energetic kitty determined to have a great day! The story is great! I love how Lola wakes up and finds a complete school outfit and decides to go to school – not with other animals but with kids. The art is so carefree and humorous that I could spend hours looking at the illustrations. I think it’s a book that could really get kids excited about school.

To learn more about my new favorite kitty, visit the Lola website HERE

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monstersloveMonsters LOVE School

Written and illustrated by Mike Austin

  40 pages – ages 4+
Published by HarperCollins on June 24, 2014

Summary (publisher’s description): Summer is over, and now it’s time for the biggest adventure of all . . . Monster School! Join these colorful monsters as they go to school for the first time. Reading and writing and learning your monster history has never been so much fun! Fans of Monsters Love Colors and others will love this exciting picture book.

What I thought: This is a nice book about making friends and going (back) to school. The monsters are cute and funny. I like how they all got along and helped the new monster. That was nice. The monsters show how fun school can be. The art has a cool style and I really like the patterns in the monsters.

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pinkandnewPinkalicious and the New Teacher

by Victoria Kann

24 pages – ages 4+

Published by HarperFestival on June 24, 2014

Summary (from the back of the book) – Pinkalicious usually likes new experiences, but when she gets a new teacher she’s not sure how she feels.

What I thought: I think that this book covers how some kids view the first day of school (and a new teacher) very well. Ms. Kann captures the feeling of kids getting a new teacher very well. As a kid, I know how it feels to have one of your favorite teachers leave and have to get a new one that you’re not really sure about.  I love how Ms. Kann shows Pinkalicious adapting to the new class. My little sister LOVES Pinkalicious, and I think she is the kind of role model kids need; one who proves that everyone is not perfect, but we should try hard to do the right thing. In addition to the pinkiperfect story there is a poster, bookmarks and stickers in the book. 

Check out the printable activity on HarperCollins website – click HERE

Check out the Pinkalicious website HERE

 

Alphabet Wildlife A to Z by Nata Romeo

7 Aug

 

IT’S A BLOG TOUR!

natablog

 

natacoverAlphabet Wildlife A to Z

Written and Illustrated by Nata Romeo

Paperback: 32 pages – ages 4+

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 7, 2014

Author’s Summary – “Alphabet Wildlife A to Z invites young readers into an enchanting world of animals.”

What I thought -This is a cool ABC book. Ms. Romeo is an amazing artist! The animal images are MARVELOUS! They look very realistic, and all are extremely beautiful! The book is a simple ABC book. On each page the only words are A is for…, B is for… so it is very easy to read. Also young kids will love looking at the illustrations and the patterns in the drawings! I found that the book is much better  when I read it on my cloud reader on my computer rather than my kindle because the larger screen is what the illustrations deserve. I liked that Ms. Romeo included some unusual animals (some of which I never heard of). Ms. Romeo is a wonderful artist. I think that kids will love the book – especially the art in it.

Check out an interior page -

nataint

 

Want to win a copy? Ms. Romeo has a Goodreads giveaway going on right now! Click HERE to go to the giveaway!

Want to know more about Ms. Romeo?

Here is how!

nataAbout the author:

Nata Romeo is an author, illustrator, blogger, and freelance writer.

Authors Website:   www.nataromeo.com

 

 

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook

Twitter

Google +

Linkedin

You tube

Goodreads

 EBSQART

Amazon

Where to get the book -

Amazon

CreateSpace e Store

For an interview with Ms. Romeo, click over to Catherine Johnson’s blog! Click HERE to go THERE!

The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey by Gregory E. Bray

6 Aug

harvey

The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey

by Gregory E. Bray

Illustrated by Holly J Bray-Cook

32 pages  ages 4+

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on June 1, 2013

My summary – Sometimes kids play with pets a little too rough. What a kid thinks is fun, isn’t always what their pet thinks is fun. Harvey didn’t was a kid who played with his pets in an unkind way. Harvey didn’t know why his dog and cat hid from him. One night Harvey had a dream and in his dream he became the pet… and he didn’t like getting “played” with! Seeing the world through his pet’s eyes changed the way he plays with his pets!

This was a funny, cute book. I like the idea of it – be nice to your pets. It is a unique story idea about teaching kids the right way to play with pets. Harvey is a nice kid – he’s not purposefully mean to the pets – he just doesn’t know any better. I think that kids will really like this book, and get a giggle when the tables are turned on Harvey. The illustrations are not my style, but they followed the story well. I think that young kids will love this book and any family or class room with a pet can benefit from it.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY!

4 Aug

sleepyanimalsWhat the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo

by Grace Millsaps & Ryan Murphy

Illustrated by John Clark IV & Alyson Kilday

44 pages – ages 4+
Publisher: The Sleepy Animals, LLC; 1st edition  on July 15, 2013

This is an awesome picture book! What’s even better is I have TWO copies to give away to TWO lucky people! (Sorry US addresses only)

“Erik, How do we enter such an awesome give away?!?” you ask…

Well read to the bottom and find out!

Goodreads description -

Rhinos rock out. Alligators stroll under limbo polls. Elephants pound the piano. Pelicans cater.

Ever wonder why the animals at the zoo are always so sleepy? What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo will answer your questions once and for all.

When Renee asks her father why the zoo animals are snoozing all day, he dreams up an elaborate answer. At night, the monkeys steal the zookeeper’s keys, and all of the animals come out of their cages to dance, eat, and play. By the time the visitors arrive in the morning, the animals are all tuckered out. Renee doesn’t believe her father’s tale, but dads have a way of being right about these things…”

What I thought- Who hasn’t wondered why the zoo animals are always sleepy? Well, you can find out in this hilarious book! The illustrations are big, bright, kooky and super fun to look at. You could read this book 5 times, and catch something new each time in each illustration! I swear that I have seen a dinosaur or two in the details! Even the end pages of the book are fun to look at. The pictures make it seem like you are right in the party with the animal! The story is great too! The rhyme is great, and is kind of sing-song when you read it. It makes the story fun to read! This book makes a great bedtime story – or for kids interested in animals or zoos. I would certainly read other books by this team! :)

I give this hilarious book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

HOW DO I WIN A COPY OF THIS GREAT BOOK, ERIK?!?

Hey – I make it easy – just comment and say you’d like to be in the drawing. :) My sister will pick 2 lucky names out of a hat (US addresses only, please) and I will announce the winners on August 18th. Good Luck!

To learn more about this book, check out the website HERE!

Like the Sleepy Animals on Facebook HERE!

Find the Sleepy ANimals on Twitter HERE!

Check out this fun video about the book!

 

Check out more great Kid Lit posts at the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Click on the image to see more!

mdbloghoop

REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW! Picture Book Triple Play!!!

28 Jul

Have I got a great deal for you! Three great picture books! :D

planesgoPlanes Go

By Steve Light

16 pages – ages pre-K +

Published by Chronicle Books on August 12, 2014

About: Publisher’s description – “The helicopter goes, “PITTATATATA PITTATATATA PITTATATATA.” The jumbo jet goes “Wheeeeeeeee VRRRRRRRRRRUUUHHHHHHHHHMMM.” The propeller plane goes “HUK HUK HUK WHIRRRRRRR WHIRRRRRR.” Prepare for liftoff with 8 exciting aircraft and the noises they make in this irresistible board book! The long oversized format lends itself to the shape of the vehicles and stands out on the shelf and the boisterous text begs to be read aloud.  “

What I like about it: This book is simply amazing! The size of the book is perfect for young kids’ attention spans, and perfect for a bedtime story. Although the size of the book makes it difficult to fit on a book self – it’s 12 inches x 6 inches – the size and shape is kind of cool when it’s showing airplanes. The art is big, bright and wonderful! The text is easy do young kids can read along. I love the sound effects of the planes (and the one helicopter). Kids will love saying them out loud – I know I did! Mr. Light has other transportation themed picture books (Trains Go, Diggers Go) which I want to GO check out now. ;)

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mr. Light, please go to his website HERE.

Check out Sue Morris’ review of this book HERE.

Check out Chronicle Book’s page for this book HERE!

bearsseaThe Bear’s Sea Escape

By Benjamin Chaud

32 pages – ages 3-6

Published by Chronicle Books on August 5, 2014

About: From Inside Cover: “Papa Bear and Little Bear were trying to sleep… Suddenly, a case of mistaken identity results in a big adventure for Little Bear, with Papa Bear in pursuit!”

What I like about it: This is a wonderful Look&Find book. In the pages, you can search for Papa Bear and Little Bear in the crowded scenes. It is a very cute book, and Mr. Chaud’s art style adds lots of humor to it. Mr. Chaud is the guy who illustrated “I Didn’t Do My Homework Because…” (see my review HERE). I admire his art, and now I admire his writing skills. I love this book. I hope to be able to check out the first book in this series (The Bear’s Song). Take a look at an interior page!

BearsSeaEscape_INT_1G.indd

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Check out Chronicle Book’s page for this book HERE!

mixit

 

Mix It Up!

By Hervé Tullet

56 pages – ages pre-K +

Published by Chronicle Books on September 14, 2014

About: Publisher’s description “Accept Hervé Tullet’s irresistible invitation to mix it up in a dazzling adventure of whimsy and wonder. Follow the artist’s simple instructions, and suddenly colors appear, mix, splatter, and vanish in a world powered only by the reader’s imagination. Tullet—who joins such greats as Eric Carle and Leo Lionni as a master of his craft—sets readers on an extraordinary interactive journey all within the printed page. Tullet prompts plenty of giggles in addition to a profound understanding of colors, and once again displays his unique genius and vision in a work that is a glorious and richly satisfying companion to Press Here.  “

What I like about it: This is an amazing sequel to Press Here. M. Tullet is a great author, and he has a whimsical style for his books. :) I think that tons of kids would enjoy this. Mix It Up has lots of interactiveness in it – all without flaps or apps! I have fun doing the instructions. This book introduces the mixing of colors (blue + yellow = green, add white to lighten, etc.), in simple instructions, as in below. It is quite fun to do and it is super educational. Make sure to get this one for your pre-schooler or kindergartener!

mixitint

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about M. Tullet, click HERE to go to his website.

Visit the Chronicle Books page for this book HERE.

Rayne Shines by Bonnie Ferrante

26 Jul

rayneshinesRayne Shines

By Bonnie Ferrante

30 pages – ages 4-7

Published by Single Drop Publishing on March 3, 2014

The Grays don’t have that much fun. They don’t enjoy anything they do. Rayne Gray, the youngest, was bored with her toys, grossed out by the food at the restaurant, and acted just like her parents who found something wrong with EVERYTHING! Most of all, Rayne couldn’t understand why the new neighbors were so HAPPY. When Sunny, the new frogs’ daughter, invites Rayne to play, Rayne is taught to see life in a new way.

This is a wonderful book with a marvelous message. It tells you that, if you look at life positively, you can enjoy it more or appreciate little things. I like that the Gray family are green frogs, while Sunny’s family are poison dart frogs – extremely colorful! The illustrations were cute, but not my favorite style. The message of the story is so great, I think a lot of kids and adult will love it.  The book is perfect for kindergarteners. It helps them understand the message in a subtle way.

I give this four out of five bookworms!fourbooks

Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER! by Jeff Cohen

30 Jun

evaEva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER!
By Jeff Cohen
Illustrated by Elanna Allen
32 pages – ages 5+
Published by HarperCollins on June 3, 2014

Eva and Sadie are sisters. Eva’s hair is long and curly. Sadie thinks that it is too long, too curly, and too much of a bother. It is practically impossible to tame! Then, Sadie had an idea – why not give Eva a haircut? Awesome idea, right? Maybe not so much…

An NPR radio reporter, Jeff Cohen has 2 little girls, Sadie, 5, and Eva, 3. He interviewed his kids after a disastrous hair cutting incident. Click HERE to go to the original interview (it’s hilarious). Apparently the interview went viral and Mr. Cohen turned the story into a very cute picture book. The story is very well-written, and has a great message. The message that Sadie learns is “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them, and try not to do them again.” Sadie and Eva are great characters, ones you can relate with – after all who hasn’t done something like this when you were little?  Ms. Allen’s illustrations put the finishing touch on the book, like the whipped cream and cherry on the sundae. I think children will love learning from Eva and Sadie’s mistake. :)

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Check out the trailer!

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday Turns 100! Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt

13 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 the idea is totally fun and I think a lot of kids are scared about starting kindergarten.

planetkindergartenPlanet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
Illustrated by Shane Prigmore
40 pages – ages 3+
Published by Chronicle Books on May 20, 2014

Theme/Topic- Starting School / Confidence

Genre- Non-fiction

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Opening and Synopsis- (Taken from the inside jacket)

“Today is Liftoff.

‘You are well prepared.’ says Dad.

Mom Counts down.

Into the rocket ship…

The boosters fire, and we launch.

I’m off to

PLANET KINDERGARTEN!

“Publisher’s Summary – This clever picture book will prepare young explorers to boldly go where they have never gone before: Planet Kindergarten. Suit up for a daring adventure as our hero navigates the unknown reaches and alien inhabitants of this strange new world. Hilarious and confidence-boosting, this exciting story will have new kindergarteners ready for liftoff!”

 

Why I liked this book-
I LOVED this book! It’s all about a kid pretending to go on a space mission to a strange new world – Planet Kindergarten! This is an awesome book to add to your back-to-school list. If you are a kindergarten or pre-school teacher or if you have kids that are going to start kindergarten, I recommend this book. Starting school or going somewhere different can be pretty scary. I love how Ms. Ganz-Schmitt uses imagination and pretend play to help her character overcome his fears. It is great how Ms. Ganz-Schmitt relates everything that happens (or could happen) on the first day of kindergarten to a space adventure. For example when the boy meets the “Commander” she tells everyone how gravity works different on Planet Kindergarten and everyone must work really hard to stay in their seats – funny! :) The book shows that starting kindergarten can be scary but it is a fabulous and fun adventure too. Shane Prigmore’s illustrations are perfect for the story. Just look at one -

planet2The colors and shapes add so much to the outer-space theme of the book. I love how some of the kids are drawn to look alien-ish. The book is just awesome!

Activities and Resources-

I think pretend play is a great idea to get a kid over fears of doing something new like going to kindergarten. A great activity to get a kid ready for school is just what the author did in this book. Pretend play kindergarten with your kids to help them know what to expect.

Visit the classroom early (teachers are there before school starts). I know my sister got scared about school and her teacher let my mom take her to visit the school to show her around and see everything before school started.

The I Can Teach My Child blog has a great resource on how to prepare your kid for Kindergarten. Click HERE to get it.

Like Planet Kindergarten on Facebook HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Ganz-Schmitt, please visit her website HERE.

Follow Planet Kindergarten on Twitter HERE.

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

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