Tag Archives: picture books

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.

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 -

12×12 Update! February 2014

1 Mar


I am trying to do Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge again this year. It is a challenge to write 12 picture book drafts in 12 months in 2014. You can click on the 12×12 banner on the right side bar or the one above to learn more about it.

February has been a pretty successful month for me. I wrote a new PB draft, and I revised an old one. Two super awesome members of the group let me be in their critique group this year. I can’t wait to get started with that (we are starting this month). I also have found the 12×12 Forum easier to use this year (WOO HOO – Ms. Hedlund!). I have used it a bunch already and submitted a pitch and the first 250 words of a PB MS I wrote. Life is good. :)

I am looking forward to learning a lot this year!

How about you? How’s your writing going? Are you doing 12×12?

What to Do with Thanksgiving Leftovers (A.K.A. Recipe by Angela Petrella & Michaelanne Petrella)

29 Nov

Thanksgiving (for Americans) was yesterday. You know, that day where you call 25 relatives over to your house and serve a 60 pound turkey, lathered with 5 gallons of gravy, a tub of thick mashed potatoes, along with 20 cans of cranberry sauce, and 6 bushels of corn, plus a bunch of other stuff you didn’t even get to? Well, chances are, you aren’t going to eat it all in one day (geeze – I hope you don’t!) and you are going to have a ton of leftovers.

After a few days of eating Thanksgiving dinner leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it may be time for something new! Well this book has a great idea – just dump it all together! :D


Written by Angela Petrella & Michaelanne Petrella

Illustrated by Mike Bertino & Erin Althea

48 pages – ages 4+

Published by McSweeney’s McMullens on November 19, 2013

Summary- Kristen told her mom “it was time for me to learn to cook” and comes up with a recipe that she invents. Kristen wants to finally be in charge and tells her mom she can help if she listens to her. On her shopping list for her mom, she lists things like 20 bags of marshmallows, 4 hundred hot dogs, bowl, NEW PUPPY (no the puppy doesn’t go into the recipe, but what a great idea to get one), water squirter, horse meat substitute and other unusual things needed  for her unique recipe. Mom, being the good mom, gets the stuff on the list and the girl starts making the recipe. Mom takes over at the parts where Kristen has to use boiling water. Kristen thinks that’s okay. The recipe keeps growing and growing (literally) and they make a hard, mountainous pile of… whatever. Well, at least the racoons will like it.

What I liked about it- This is a cute book. I think all kids want to be “in charge” in the kitchen. The mom in the book lets her daughter be creative (and very messy) and it shows that there is no wrong in cooking – just have fun with it! I like the idea of it – a mother and a daughter having fun and cook a “masterpiece” together! The illustrations are awesome with great details in them (like when the girl is outside with the puppy and Mom is supposed to keep the recipe from burning, but through the window, you can see Mom, back turned to the stove, talking on the phone, while the pot is giving off black smoke). That made it fun. I really like the endpapers also. There is a fun recipe at the back of the book to make your own candy roll-up. I can’t wait to try it!

I give Recipe 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Now, my friends, grab your most (or least) trusted kid/adult, and get to work on YOUR recipe!

Ann and Nan Are Anagrams by Mark Shulman AND Chippy Chipmunk Winner!

20 Sep


We have a winner of the Chippy Chipmunk: Parties in the Garden!


Congratulations! I’ll email you to get your address!

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I am a word nerd and I LOVE anagrams! 

annandnanAnn and Nan Are Anagrams: A Mixed-Up Word Dilemma Hardcover

By Mark Shulman

Illustrated by Adam McCauley

36 pages – ages 5+

Published by Chronicle Books on October 1, 2013

Theme/Topic – Words/Anagrams

Genre - Fiction

Opening and Synopsis – 

My name is Robert (or Bert). Please, don’t call me Bob.

That’s a whole other story.

Word problems run in my family.”

Robert (or Bert) thought that his Grandma Reagan had lost her mind when she asks Robert (or Bert) to pick up an Aunt who is a nut. But, Robert (or Bert) doesn’t have an aunt. Robert (or Bert) realizes his Grandmother Reagan is in ANAGRAM DANGER! His Mom and Dad can’t help him, for they are Mod and Mad. Plus, his sisters Nan and Ann are also anagrams! Robert (or Bert) finds that his world is getting mixed up in Anagrams!

Why I liked this book – 

Like I said, I am a word nerd! I love word puzzles and this book  is a great introduction to anagrams for kids! The anagrams in the book are easy to pick out because they are highlighted in different colors or different fonts (the different colors and fonts also make the book fun to look at and read). Mark Shulman is a master of word play because he can write a whole story packed with anagrams! The illustrations are done in bright colors that are great to look at.

Activities and Resources -

This book is a follow up to “Mom and Dad are Palindromes” which I am getting to read!


Word Smith has an online anagram creator. Click HERE to get to it.

It would be fun to just have kids try to write anagrams of their names.

Erik Seth Weibel -

Thee Kiwi Rebels

Bike Tire Wheels


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


Before you go – if you get a chance, visit S.W. Lothian’s (What Lions) (author of the awesome books in the Quest series!) blog HERE for his review of my book – The Adventures of Tomato and Pea! Check it out! It’s the last day of my blog tour! :D

Thank you, everyone, for following along, and a special thanks to those people who participated. THANK YOU!!!


Leah’s Voice by Lori DeMonia

18 Sep

leahsvoiceLeah’s Voice

by Lori DeMonia

Illustrated by Monique Turchan

28 pages – ages 5+

Published by Halo Publishing International  on October 6, 2012

Logan is excited to have her friend, Abby, over for a play-date but when Logan meets Abby’s sister (Leah), Abby wonders why Logan had to tell Leah to say “Hi.” Leah isn’t like other kids. Leah barely speaks and she acts differently. Abby doesn’t like the way that Leah acts and she gets mad and doesn’t want Leah around. After the play-date, Logan thinks about what Abby said but she loves her sister and she is really okay with the way Leah is. She’s okay with it, until their mother took them for their first trip to the movies and Leah ruins it by breaking down. Logan then learns that Leah has Autism.

This is a very nice story from the point of view of a  girl whose sister has autism. I like that it shows (sadly, in reality) how some kids react to people who act differently. The picture book is simple and the message can be understood by young kids. The book is based on two real-life sisters too!

backcover-07 11-56-10

The illustrations are very nice and there is artwork from the real Leah put into the book! The book is a good way to help kids understand Autism.

Five out of five bookworms for Leah’s Voice! fivebooks

You can find more information about Leah’s Voice, get activities and find more about Autism and the kids who inspired this book at the book’s official website HERE!


Please hop over to Julie Rowan Zoch’s blog for an interview with me and the next stop on the  -


Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer

6 Sep

lifetimeLifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives

by Lola M. Schaefer

Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

40 pages – ages 4 – 8 years

Will be Published by Chronicle Books on September 24, 2013

Taken from the inside jacket -

“In one LIFETIME a caribou will shed 10 sets of antlers,

a woodpecker will drill 30 roosting holes,

a giraffe will wear 200 spots,

a seahorse will birth 1,000 babies.

Count each one and many more as you learn about the fascinating things that can happen in just one lifetime.”

How cool is it to put math and nature together into a picture book? Ms. Schaefer wrote a book that young kids will love because of the pictures and simple text (and also the counting part – I actually tried to count the 1,000 seahorse babies… Don’t try it…) and older kids will love it because of the facts about the animals and all the information about how Ms. Schaefer used math and averages to write the book. The back pages were all the math is explained is really well done. It shows kids how cool math can be in real life. I really like the illustrations. They are realistic and have a natural feel to them, with a touch on fantasy. I like Mr. Neal’s artwork. I just figured out he did the cover of “Chains” by Laurie Halse Anderson (awesome book) and I love that cover. I would love to see more nonfiction PB done as well as this one.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

J.J. Bear by Tosca Schauer

16 Aug

jjbearJ.J. Bear

by Tosca Schauer

28 pages – ages 4+

Publisher: AbbottPress (January 28, 2013)

J.J. Bear was a teddy bear who was sad to be stuffed in a box and left in a factory.  (J.J. was brought in by a the owner of the factory whose grandchildren outgrew J.J. and some other toys). Then J.J. met Charley the Company Cat. Charlie and J.J. became friends and J.J. told Charlie how sad he was not to have a home. Charley came up with an idea! He would push the box the toys were in over the edge of the shelf they were on, so somebody would notice J.J.!

The story of J.J. is adorable and would make a nice read aloud for parents and kids. The characters are cute and the the story reads nicely. I am calling the book a good book not a great book because of the formatting and the illustrations in the book. The book is a picture book and the pictures are as important as the story. First J.J. is drawn with a nose and he isn’t supposed to have one until the end of the book (something my little sister saw right away). Maybe it’s because I am a kid but, I like a talking teddy bear to be drawn with a mouth. I thought the illustrations were cute, but a little drab in color. There were also too many words on the pages making it look crowded in some places. This could have easily been a 32 page picture book. Having said that, the story is very good and I think any kid would like to have it read to them!

I give this book with a great story and okay illustrations 3 out of 5 book worms!threebooks

12×12 Update!

1 Aug


I am trying to do Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge again this year. It is a challenge to write 12 picture book drafts in 12 months in 2013. You can click on the 12×12 banner on the right side bar or the one above to learn more about it.

In July I worked on my PB idea of a kid visiting different folk tales from around the world. I’ve changed the character from a boy to a boy and a girl and I changed the way they hop from tale to tale because I thought it was getting too confusing in the draft I was working on. I am happy with the story now and will hopefully finish the draft soon.

I also started working on another PB – this one is a funny one based on a real life experience (let’s just say my Dad could have made it onto America’s Funniest Home Videos (if we had a video ;) )).

Have a nice August everyone! I won’t! I go back to school on the 20th! ;)

The-the-the- the- that’s all folks!

Veggie’s Bully by C. JoVan Williams

15 May

It’s May 15th and how many accelerated reader points do I have?!? With the addition yesterday of the unabridged Three Musketeers by Alxeandre Dumas, Brian’s Return by Gary Paulsen, and Crooked Star’s Promise by Erin Hunter, I have -


I have until 3pm today to meet my goal of 1500! Will I do it?!? I’m actually kind of nervous I won’t… but I have three books to take tests on today that should put me over the top… as long as I get the answers right on the tests…

Wish me luck!


Veggie’s Bully (Chef ReCee Jay & Friends – Book 2)

By C. JoVan Williams

Illustrated by Jennifer Chappell

34 pages – ages 4+

Published by CreateSpace on December 28, 2012

Veggie Bunny is sad and feeling bad about herself. Piggie is bullying her and making her feel like she is worthless and not good at anything. Veggie’s friend Carb Monkey wants to get even with Piggie by doing mean things back to him. Uncle Bear lets the kids know that “getting even” is not the right way to deal with a bully. Uncle Bear tells Veggie to be her very best no matter what someone may say.

I love the message in this book! I think that the Carb character saying he wants to bully Piggie back and his Uncle Bear (does that make him a money’s Uncle *snicker*) telling him it’s wrong makes a great point for kids, especially since the book is meant for younger kids! I think it is a real reaction for kids who get bullied to want to get even, but Uncle Bear points out that makes you the same as the bully. I like how Ms. Williams takes Veggie through all the emotions of sadness, anger, and embarrassment – all things kids feel when they are bullied. In the end, Veggie Bunny learn to believe in herself and ignore Piggie. I think all kids should learn this. The illustrations were large and bright. They were a little too simple for my taste, but I can see how young kids will like them. They did work well in the ebook version of the book on my black and white Kindle.

I really LOVE what Ms. Williams says in the dedication of her book – “This book is dedicated to everyone, young and old, who may have run into a few “Piggies” in their life. Currently there are over 7 billion people in the world. Don’t let the spoiled words of a few ruin your day.”

Despite the fact I’m not too fond of the pictures, Veggie’s Bully has a five bookworm message! fivebooks

Check out the trailer!

To learn more about the Chef Recee Jay & Friends series, please visit the official website HERE!

Follow Chef Recee & Jay on Facebook HERE!

Follow Ms. Williams on Twitter HERE!


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