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Perfect Picture Book Friday! Confiscated! by Suzanne Kaufman

15 Oct

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a fun book about sharing.

Confiscated!
By Suzanne Kaufman
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Balzer + Bray on August 1, 2017

Theme/Topic- Sharing
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Brooks and Mikey fought over EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. And whenever they did, their mama would take it away.

In other words, it got CONFISCATED!

Synopsis from Publisher: “When Mama hears Brooks and Mikey fighting over yet another toy, it gets CONFISCATED!

(In other words, taken away.)

It’s only when ALL the toys are confiscated that Brooks and Mikey finally learn how to work—and play—together nicely.

(But not before creating a whole heap of trouble . . . )”

What I Thought- Ms. Kaufman has created a wonderful book that showcases the case for sharing. The dinosaurs are impartial to their fighting, fighting over everything. Eventually, when all the toys are gone, they start talking to each other. And learning how they actually like each other. It’s awesome. There are also great illustrations that fit the story well – I really like how you don’t see Mama’s face until the end. I also really like the wide variety of confiscated items – a bike, Mexican wrestling mask, tuba, and even the dog (which, granted, was a little odd). The only thing I didn’t like was that the tuba was actually a sousaphone – the marching band counterpart to the tuba. But that’s just me being a band geek. 😉 This is an excellent picture book about sharing!

Activities and Resources- There is a good list of sharing activities from Care.com HERE.

There is also some more sharing activities from Powerfulmothering.com HERE.

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

Blog Tour AND Perfect Picture Book Friday! It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk by Josh Funk

6 Oct

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 was asked to be part of a blog tour for this book, but after reading it, I chose to review it as a perfect picture also! It is an awesome story about being yourself, and not worrying about what others want you to be like.

It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk
Written by Josh Funk
Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
40 pages – ages 5+

Published by Two Lions on September 19, 2017

Theme/Topic- Being Yourself
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “”Once upon a time, Jack lived in a tiny cottage in a dreary village. He always dreamed that someday he would find his fortune.”

Synopsis from Publisher: “Jack is not fond of the bossy narrator of his fairy tale! When Jack is told to trade his beloved cow Bessie for some magic beans, throw the beans out the window, climb the ENORMOUS beanstalk that sprouts overnight, and steal from a GIANT, he decides this fairy tale is getting out of control. In fact, he doesn’t want to follow the story line at all. Who says Jack needs to enter a life of daring, thievery, and giant trickery? He takes his story into his own hands—and you’ll never guess what happens next!”

What I Thought- I absolutely loved this book! The narration is top-notch, with lots of humor, and it really suits the story. Funk really wrote an excellent book about being true to who you are, and not letting others decide your fate. Taylor follows the fun-ness of the story with bright illustrations that complement the story, filled with wacky characters and awesome details. I also really like how there are speech bubbles they characters talk with – it gives the book a fun vibe to it, like a comic book. 

The illustrations take on a life of their own…

They are really a feast for your eyes adding so much more to the already wonderful text.

 I also love how Funk put in references to other fairy tales, fables, and other such things into the backgrounds – I’ve seen the Cricket and the Ant (Aesop’s Fable) and the Cat with the Fiddle (Nursery Rhyme) amongst other things. You could probably find even more! I really enjoyed reading this book and I think kids will too!

Activities and Resources- There is a great list of picture books about being yourself from Notimeforflashcards.com HERE!

There is also a great article about raising kids to be unique from Kcedventures.com HERE!

If you visit Josh Funk’s website, you can also print out coloring pages! Check it out HERE!

 

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

About the Creators:

Like Jack, Josh Funk loves telling his own stories. He is the author of the popular picture books Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast and its sequel, The Case of the Stinky Stench, illustrated by Brendan Kearney; Dear Dragon, illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo; and the upcoming How to Code a Sandcastle illustrated by Sara Palacios in partnership with Girls Who Code. Josh lives in New England with his wife and children. Learn more about him at www.joshfunkbooks.com, and follow him on Twitter @joshfunkbooks.
Edwardian Taylor currently works as a visual development artist and character designer for TV and animation feature film. His work can also be seen in mobile games, films, and commercials. He is the illustrator of the picture book Race!, written by Sue Fliess. Edwardian lives in Texas with his partner, their three dogs, and seven chickens. Learn more about him at www.edwardiantaylor.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @edwardiantaylor.
 

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Give Me Back My Book! by Travis Foster and Ethan Long

29 Sep

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a fun book about sharing and teamwork.

Give Me Back My Book!
Co-Written and Co-Illustrated by Travis Foster and Ethan Long
56 pages – ages 4+

Published by Chronicle Books on September 5, 2017

Theme/Topic- Sharing/Teamwork/Reading
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Hey, wait a second, Redd. That’s MY book.” “I beg your pardon, Bloo, but this book is mine.”

Synopsis from Publisher: “This book is full of wonderful WORDS and beautiful PICTURES! And it’s EXCITING! And it’s FUNNY! It might be the BEST BOOK EVER—if we could decide whose book it is. Redd and Bloo explore the way a book is made and accidentally build a friendship, too, in this tale told only in dialogue. Travis Foster and Ethan Long offer a hilarious story about the joy of reading, which brings people together in unexpected ways, proving that each book truly belongs to . . . the people who love it.”

What I Thought- This is a really great book! I really like how the two creatures are quite polite to each other (“I beg your pardon”), at least until it escalates of course. That really gives parents a chance to discuss correct and incorrect ways to settle a disagreement – a really nice touch! I enjoyed how the two characters eventually work together and forget about their squabbles. They don’t try to just solve the problem by revenge – they make a trade, skills which could also be pointed out by parents and teachers. The illustrations are bright and fun to look at. The text is simple for young readers. Long and Foster have created a wonderful picture book – one that is fun for kids, and one that can be used by parents. I really hope to see more from this duo!

Activities and Resources- There is a good list of team-building activities from Ventureteambuilding.co.uk HERE.

There is also some great reading/writing activities for different age groups from Readingrockets.org HERE.

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

Book Birthday! Bruce’s Big Move by Ryan T. Higgins #BRUCESBIGMOVE

26 Sep

 

 

I’ve been helping a friend move today…

 

Let’s Celebrate a book birthday today! BRUCE’S BIG MOVE!

Bruce’s Big Move

 

Series: The Bruce Series #3 (#1, #2)
By Ryan T. Higgins
48 pages – ages 5+
Published by Disney-Hyperion September 26, 2017 [TODAY!!!]

Synopsis from Publisher- “After the events of Hotel Bruce, our favorite curmudgeonly bear shares his home with not only his four geese, but three rowdy mice besides! Fed up with their shenanigans, Bruce sets off to find a rodent-free household. But as usual, nothing goes quite according to plan…”

What I Thought- My FAVORITE grouchy bear is back!! The Mother Bruce series sets a high standard for a third book, and luckily the latest book is able to match the first two! The third book in the series captures the sweet feeling of the first and the humor of the second. It has messages of how you can’t choose family (but maybe that’s what you need!), and how love can be shown in different ways. Bruce is tired of his house always being a mess, and decides that the mice (uninvited guests who won’t leave from the second book, Hotel Bruce) are the problem, and decides to ditch them. But in the end the mice return and Bruce realizes how his life is a bit better because of them (but not too much – he is, after all, a grump!). The reader can’t help but smile as Bruce tries to find serenity but ends up with more to love. I like that Higgins appropriately keeps the humor in it low-key and subtle. The illustrations are excellent, with an excess of simple details that make the spreads engaging to the readers as they look over them while reading.

I can’t wait to see more of Bruce’s adventures with his family!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Review! Night Night, Groot by Brendan Deneen

26 Sep

Night Night, Groot
Written by Brendan Deneen
Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Marvel Press on April 4, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher- “It’s been a long day for baby Groot and he’s ready to be tucked in for bed. Just as his eyes start to close, Rocket Raccoon bursts onto the scene! Groot can’t go to sleep yet, there’s a whole galaxy that needs to be defended and they must work together to save the day! Then maybe, just maybe, Groot will finally get the rest he deserves! Each spread includes a tiny Ant-Man, let’s see if you can find him…”

What I Thought- This was a neat book… okay – I am a superhero geek and I was really excited to get this book. I am not sure if it is meant for kids or their parents – because it is great for both! The illustrations are really cute but there are so many Marvel superheros making cameo appearances – parents will love the fun of identifying them. They have a great feeling to them –

Searching for the tiny Ant-Man in each illustration was fun and challenging at times. The story is told in a sing-song rhyme that is pleasing to read. The story is cute as Groot reflects over what he did during the day, saving the galaxy with his friends. With the popularity of the Guardians of the Galaxy, I am sure kids will love to read about Baby Groot going to bed. I can see this one being read over and over again!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Love You Always by Eileen Spinelli

22 Sep

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 sweet book about a family’s love for their children.

Love You Always
Written by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Gillian Flint
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by WorthyKids/Ideals on September 19, 2017

Theme/Topic- Love/Family

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Seasons come and seasons go. Mama loves you always.”

Synopsis from publisher: “A child is a treasured leaf on a family tree, surrounded by love from mom, dad, doting grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends too. This sweet, reassuring picture book from Eileen Spinelli acknowledges the whole tree — the many who are invested in a child’s life — with expressions of unconditional love from each.”

What I Thought- This is a really sweet book about how family always loves you, no matter what. Spinelli is a master at crafting poetry infused with messages of caring and kindness and then making it accessible to younger readers. Her picture books always make me feel better. I think other readers get that impression as well. One of the things I love about this quiet book is how it not only has a positive message, but the illustrations help share the message.

Flint reflects the soft tone of Spinelli’s writing with soft toned illustrations, being pleasant on the eyes, and making the book perfect for bedtimes.

I really think that this amazing picture book pair has an excellent chemistry, and I would definitely be interested in seeing more from the two of them!

Activities and Resources- Momentsaday.com has great activities to teach about love HERE.

Oureverydaylife.com has a great article about teaching family love to your children HERE – it also includes games you can play as a family and other activities!

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

Shiver Me Timbers – Review! Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex

19 Sep

Avast! Today be Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Image result for talk like a pirate day

Arr – So today me review (‘n this post) be translated into Pirate-Speak t’ celebrate!

Nothing Rhymes with Orange
By Adam Rex
48 pages – ages 5+
Published by Chronicle Books on August 1, 2017

Publisher’s Synopsis- “We all know nothing rhymes with orange. But how does that make Orange feel? Well, left out! When a parade of fruit gets together to sing a song about how wonderful they are—and the song happens to rhyme—Orange can’t help but feel like it’s impossible for him to ever fit in. But when one particularly intuitive Apple notices how Orange is feeling, the entire English language begins to become a bit more inclusive.”

Wha’ I Thought- ‘Tis a really clever book from Rex, natterin’ about bein’ left out in an incredibly hilarious way that manages ta touch th’ readers as well. I be a fan o’ how Rex be usin’ real pictures o’ th’ fruit, ‘n then drew o’er th’ pictures ta create th’ characters – it really adds a nice touch t’ it all.

Cast yer eyes upon it –

The rhyme be fun an’ flows in a sing-song way like the mermaid lookin’ ta cast their spell on ye. Th’ rhyme turns into a mutiny o’ craziness that parents and scallywags will get a kick out of. Rex brin’s Nietzsche in t’ rhyme wit’ peachy ‘n soon aft that, poor wee Orange has had all he can stand.

Th’ book be a great, simple lesson on includin’ others, showin’ it in a touchin’ way.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

 

I give this book five out o’ five bookworms!

 

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Bad Seed by Jory John

15 Sep

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 nice book about trying to be the best you can be.

 

The Bad Seed
Written by Jory John
Illustrated by Pete Oswald
40 pages – ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on August 29, 2017

Theme/Topic- Being kind/Change
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “I’m a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaaad seed.”

Synopsis from Publisher: “This is a book about a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaad seed. How bad? Do you really want to know? He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember!”

What I Thought- I really enjoyed this book – I like how it shows us how the seed is bad, then it tells us why he became bad, and finally how he came to the decision to be nicer. I also really appreciate how the book shows readers that it’s okay not to be perfect as soon as you decide to change; it makes sure kids know it takes time, and you just need to keep trying. It really is a great book. The illustrations are nice, simple, and have a way of drawing your eye across the page, using muted colors and stark contrast. I really enjoyed all the parts of this book!

Activities and Resources- I found a nice article with 35 seed activities HERE from Fantasticfunandlearning.com!

Check out the book’s trailer!

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli

8 Sep

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 wordless story (and I love well-done wordless stories!) about enjoying one’s life.

Professional Crocodile
Written by Giovanna Zoboli
Illustrated by  Mariachiara Di Giorgio
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Chronicle Books on August 1, 2017

Theme/Topic- Appreciation of every day moments? I don’t know. It’s really good though!
Genre- Fiction
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: [Wordless Picturebook]

Synopsis from Publisher: “Mr. Crocodile loves his job. Every morning he gets up with an alarm. He brushes his teeth. He chooses the right tie to match his outfit, eats a quick slice of toast, and heads off to work on a crowded train. But what exactly is his job? The answer may surprise you!”

What I Thought- Zoboli and Di Giorgio have created an awesome silent picture book. The illustrations draw a lot of attention to daily life, and I like how Mr. Crocodile is not only reacted to as a human, but as a crocodile too (some people are a bit unsure of his presence, but it is generally accepted that he is a regular guy). The illustrations are immensely pleasant to look at! The muted tones play along with the setting. The illustrations have so much feeling and emotion to them. Just take a look –

The story is simple, with a delightful twist at the end. I really like how everything builds up to the ending, so that even if it is unexpected, it is still satisfying, because it all makes sense. I loved this book, and I really want to see more from this pair!

Activities and Resources- Take a bit of time to think about your daily routine and what makes it special. Think about as many of the parts as you can, and think about how you can appreciate what you do every day even more. This is best done as you are doing your routine, in my opinion.

There are also some nice crocodile activities from Childcarelounge.com HERE!

I think a cool activity is to cut out some pictures from magazines or maybe even use some photographs and arrange them to make your won wordless story! I think I am going to try that one myself! 😉

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

Blog Tour! A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale by Penny Parker Klostermann

7 Sep

LET ME OFFER A RAY OF SUNSHINE ON THIS DREARY DAY!

I am participating in a blog tour for a superlicious new picture book!

What’s even better is that the book was just released this week and you can gobble up your own copy!

A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale
Written by Penny Parker Klostermann
Illustrated by Ben Mantle
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on September 5, 2017

Synopsis from the Publisher- “In the magical land of fairy tales, William doesn’t quite fit in. He’d rather poach pears than pursue princesses, and he values gnocchi over knighthood. . . .

When he stumbles on a delivery of food destined for Fairy-Tale Headquarters (a pumpkin, apples, and a few measly beans), he decides to spice things up and whips the paltry ingredients into delectable dishes. But as you might have guessed, Snow White’s wicked stepmother doesn’t exactly want her magic apple baked and drizzled with caramel.”

What I Thought- I really liked Klostermann’s latest picture book – it is full of fairy tale whimsy. What makes this book stand out for me is that touches on a part of the fairy tales we don’t always give a second thought – the food! There were tons of subtle yet fun references to other fairy tales making the story even more enjoyable. The story is sweet and has the reader craving to turn to the next page. The text is often sprinkled about on the pages which adds to the whole feeling of the book. The story celebrates those who are different, and want to help out. It’s nice how William is able to end up following his dream, and to help people reach their “happily ever after.” Mantle’s illustrations put the icing on the cake. Have a look –

Illustration copyright c 2017 by Ben Mantle.

Mantle keeps the fanciful feeling of Klostermann’s text fresh in our eyes as we read about William’s adventures!

 

Illustration copyright c 2017 by Ben Mantle.

Mantle’s style-his use of vivid colors, bold lines, and fanciful proportions-really put the finishing touches on this delectable book.

Illustration copyright c 2017 by Ben Mantle.

I think Mantle and Klostermann have a delicious collaboration going on, and I really wish to see more from this dynamic duo! This book would be great for story time and paired with a recipe!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

 

BUT WAIT!!! THERE’S MORE!

JUST WHO IS THIS PENNY KLOSTERMANN???

Penny Parker Klostermann is the author of A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale and There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, both from Random House Children’s Books. She loves all kinds of books, but especially loves very silly picture books that make her laugh. Penny has been known to hug her favorite picture books and seriously hopes that someday her books will gain huggable status too. You can learn more about Penny on her website at PennyKlostermann.com.

Check out all the stops on the blog tour! You have chances to win copies along the way!

Blog Tour Dates:

August 29-Tara Lazar-interview with Tricia Lawrence, Penny’s Agent

August 29-Picture Book Builders-Interview

September 4-Maria Marshall-Interview

September 5-Vivian Kirkfield-Royal Reporter Special Behind-the-Scenes Interview and Recipe

September 7- GROG Guest Post with Penny-Poetry/Picture Book Connection

September 7-This Kid Reviews Books-Book Review

September 8-Susanna Leonard Hill-Perfect Picture Book Friday

September 12 (tentative)-Jama’s Alphabet Soup-Interview and Recipe

September 18-Laura Sassi-Kid Review and 5 questions from the kids for Penny

September 19-Kirsti Call, Writer’s Rumpus-Interview

September 26-Think Quick with Carrie Charlie Brown

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