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Review and GIVEAWAY! Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin

28 Sep

groovyGroovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs
Series: Groovy Joe #1
Written by Eric Litwin
Illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld
40 pages – ages 3+
Published by Orchard Books on August 30, 2016

Synopsis from Publisher-Meet Groovy Joe, a fun-lovin’, guitar-strummin’, doggy-ice-cream-eatin’ pup as he wrangles three hungry dinosaurs and soon has them singing, grooving, and sharing! 

Groovy Joe was living the dream.
He had a spoon and tub of doggy ice cream.
And he started to sing:
Love my doggy ice cream! Love my doggy ice cream!

Eric Litwin, author of the bestselling and beloved Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, and bestselling artist Tom Lichtenheld, illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, have created a captivating new canine character who will groove his way into readers’ hearts and have them grooving and giggling all the while. In his debut adventure, Groovy Joe faces three roaring dinosaurs hungry for his doggy ice cream! Oh no! But Joe knows just what to do and soon enough he has them all sharing while moving and singing along.”

What I Thought- This is a really nice picture book! I really liked Mr. Litwin’s Pete the Cat series, and the positive message it sends, and this new series looks like it will be just as great! The illustrations are very fun, summing up the signature rhyme and rhythm of Mr. Litwin’s writing perfectly. The book has repetitive phrases, so kids will be able to follow along easily, and even read together with their parents. Groovy Joe is a good role model, always showing kindness, and not yelling at the three dinos that kick down his door (that is extreme kindness right there!). This is a great new book, and kids will love the new series, with the next book coming out in Fall 2017! Love the groovy music downloads that go with the book too! I wonder if Groovy Joe will ever meet Pete the Cat!😉

groovy2

Check out the Groovy Joe website HERE for a discussion guide, music and more!

ericlitwin

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eric Litwin is a #1 New York Times bestselling author who merges music and early literacy together. He is the author of the first four Pete the Cat picture books and the exciting new musical series The Nuts. Eric’s books have sold more than 6.5 million copies and won eighteen state and national awards, including a Theodor Geisel Seuss Honor Award. Eric is a popular performing artist who plays guitar, sings, tells stories, and brings books to life. Visit him at ericlitwin.com.

 tomlichtenheld

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: Tom Lichtenheld is the illustrator of the New York Times bestsellers Duck! Rabbit!Exclamation MarkSteam Train, Dream TrainShark vs. Train; and Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, which has been on the bestseller list for over three years. He has also written and illustrated a number of books, including What Are You So Grumpy AboutCloudette, and E-mergency, a Publishers Weekly and Boston Globe Best Book of 2011. For more information, visit him at tomlichtenheld.com.

Check out the trailer!

WIN A Groovy Starter Pack!!!

groovyprize

One (1) winner receives:

  • a copy of Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs
  • a “Get Groovy” art-print from the illustrator.

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment, but, if you want, you can also describe a time when something you did made somebody’s day!

The giveaway will be closed on October 4th, and the winner announced on October 5th!

Giveaway open to US addresses only.

Prizing and samples provided by Scholastic.*

Visit the website HERE to hear the free downloadable musical performance of this rocking story in English and Spanish! While you’re there, check out “The Groovy Dance,” Joe’s very own doggy dance track!”

*Please note that I am partnering with Scholastic for this post.

Perfect Picture Book Friday! You Made Me a Mother by Laurenne Sala

23 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 gorgeous book about a mother’s love.

mademotherYou Made Me a Mother
Written by Laurenne Sala
Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on March 8, 2016

Theme/Topic- Mother-Child/Love/Family

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “I felt you.
You were a pea.
Then a lemon.
Then an eggplant.”

Synopsis from publisher: “In this beautiful celebration of motherhood, the universal message of unconditional love for a child shines through. Laurenne Sala’s heartwarming text, accompanied by New York Times bestselling artist Robin Preiss Glasser’s charming illustrations, creates a firsthand look at the powerful bond between mother and child from pregnancy to birth and beyond.”

What I Thought- This is a really sweet book, with love pouring throughout the pages, and into the reader as well. The illustrations are rather realistic, but with a very nice feeling to them. The writing reflects ho a mom would actually speak to her child and flows very nicely. I could see mom’s reading this book over and over again to her children. The pictures are full of emotion, and they showcase how a mother loves her child. This is a gorgeous book that parents will love to read to their kids – and that their kids would love to be read to!

Activities and Resources- Inspiredtoaction.com has a great list of 101 things you can do with your child HERE!

Momentsaday.com has a great list for parents to teach about love HERE!

Check out the trailer for the book –

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! There’s a Giraffe in My Soup by Ross Burach

16 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 story.

giraffesoupThere’s a Giraffe in My Soup
By Ross Burach
32 pages – ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on February 23, 2016

Theme/Topic- Humor/Table manners

Genre-  Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “‘Excuse me, Waiter?

There’s a giraffe in my soup!'”

Synopsis from Publisher: “What if you found a giraffe in your soup, an alligator in your entreé, an elephant on the table, or even an ostrich in your dish?

In this debut picture book from author-illustrator Ross Burach, an assortment of hairy, scary animals pop out from under the lid at a restaurant!”

What I Thought- This is a good, classic, everything-goes-wrong-but-in-a-good-way book. It is a hilarious spin off of the “There’s a fly in my soup!” jokes, starting big, and getting zanier as the book progresses. Kids will beg to have the book reread to them, if the fact that I just read the book five times in a row it is that good! The illustrations are perfect for the story. They are zany and fit in with the mixed-up story.  The book is a perfect read-aloud, particularly for two people (or a teacher and their class) to read the boy’s and the waiter’s lines. Funny voices would be perfect too! I can’t wait to read more from this debut author!

Activities and Resources- Because the book takes place in a “fine-restaurant,” you can talk about table manners with your kids, with topic ideas to discuss at Emilypost.com HERE!

If you want to lead into a discussion about manners with activities, at Childfun.com HERE!
Check out the book’s trailer –

You can read a sample of the book at the publisher’s website HERE

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! How to Put Your Parents to Bed by Mylisa Larsen

9 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 I love a good bedtime book!

putparentstobedHow to Put Your Parents to Bed
Written by Mylisa Larsen
Illustrated by Babette Cole
32 pages – ages 5+

Published by Katherine Tegen Books on February 2, 2016

Theme/Topic- Making your own food/Eating healthy

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “I know. You are not tired.

You could scale a tall tower.
You could sail savage seas.
You could paint a masterpiece.”

Publisher’s Synopsis: “No one likes going to bed. And you’re not even tired. You want to stay up and have all sorts of fun adventures! But take a look at your parents. They’re really tired. They’re exhausted. But they just won’t go to bed! Help them put down the cell phones, turn off the TV, stop cleaning the dishes, and go to bed! You might be small, but you can handle this task. Follow the instructions in this book and you’ll have them snoring in no time.”

What I Thought- This is a funny look at bedtimes, with a surprisingly accurate look at what parents would do. The book is a good bedtime story, and kids will love trying to put their parents to bed.

putparents2

The book makes it sound as if a kid (or  maybe the cat?) is really talking to you. The illustrations have a way of being realistic and really fun to look at. There are a lot of details, so I’m sure there are things you can find in the illustrations. Ms. Larsen has written a nice bedtime story that will make kids and parents giggle!

Activities and Resources- If you have trouble getting your kids to go to bed, Amomwithalessonplan.com has a nice article over HERE!

Here is a list of things you can do right before bedtime from Naturalparentsnetwork.com right HERE!

Check out the video trailer!

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Let’s Play! by Herve Tullet

2 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, unique interactive book.

letsplayLet’s Play!
By Hervé Tullet
68 pages – ages 3+

Published by Chronicle Books on March 29, 2016

Theme/Topic- Interactive book

Genre- Nonfiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Hey there! I’m getting a little bored in here. Wanna play?”

Synopsis from publisher: “It’s only a yellow dot…but what a dot it is! Readers won’t be able to resist this jaunty, adventurous dot, nor its invitation to play along. Thus begins a spectacular ride of color, motion, shape, and imagination, filled with the artistry and delight that we know and love so well from Press Here and Mix It Up! But on this journey, prepare to leap headlong into a completely new dimension: emotion. Connecting not only to the mind but also to the heart, this dot expresses an extraordinary sense of humor, fear, joy, and more as it pushes, lurches, wiggles, and slides its way through—and even off!—the pages of this glorious companion to Press Here and Mix It Up!

What I Thought- I really like the creativity of Tullet. His imagination shows in this book! I think it is extremely fascinating how he orchestrates the story line. Tullet guides the reader – anticipating what he will do. The wording of the instructions for the “game” and the illustrations completely immerse the reader in the book. Which brings me to another point – the illustrations, although simple, are brilliantly done! They tactfully bring all the attention onto the yellow dot – even though there is more going on in them. Kids and parents will love interacting with and reading this book!

Activities and Resources- One thing I would suggest is creating an interactive book of your own! Think of what you can have your reader and character do together!

Check out this video where Tullet introduces us to Let’s play!

Down load an activity kit and a Common Core aligned teachers guise at Chronicle’s website HERE
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

27 Aug

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 unique story on perspective.

They All Saw a CatThey All Saw a Cat
By Brendan Wensel
44 pages – ages 5+

Published by Chronicle Books on August 30, 2016

Theme/Topic- Perspective

Genre- Realistic Fiction? Nonfiction?

Opening and Synopsis- Opening:The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws…'”

Synopsis from publisher: “In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?

What I Thought- This is a really neat book. I like that when the others look at the cat, not only does it look different, but the illustrations reflect what is seen is an amazing way. Check out some interior pages –

image004 image005 image003

 

That was pretty cool! The story is a great way to teach kids about perspective and the way things are seen by different people. A great lesson of what you see is not what someone else may see! This is  Wenzel’s debut as both an author and illustrator, and it is great start. I am anxiously awaiting his next creation!

Activities and Resources- There is a great lesson plan about perspectives at Readwritethink.org HERE!

Teachingwithamountainview.com has a fabulous post on teaching point of view HERE!

Check out the book’s trailer –

Chronicle Books has an activity pack that goes with the book that you can download. Click HERE to get it!
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Go to Sleep, Monster! by Kevin Cornell

19 Aug

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, unique bedtime story.

gotosleepGo to Sleep, Monster!
By Kevin Cornell
32 pages – ages 5+

Published by Balzer + Bray on April 12, 2016

Theme/Topic- Facing your fears/Bedtime

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “‘George,’ said Anna, ‘turn off the light!'”

Synopsis from publisher: “Getting George to sleep is a nightmare. But getting a monster to sleep? That’s an adventure.

This is the first book written and illustrated by the bestselling artist of the Terrible Two series, Kevin Cornell.”

What I Thought- This is a fun bedtime story. The kids go down the line of scary monsters, and try to figure out what is scaring them. It encourages facing fears, and helping others. The book is funny, and kids will love having it read to them. Mr. Cornell’s illustrations go perfectly with the story, and really add another dimension to the book. I think that kids will enjoy poring over the illustrations, looking for extra details.

gotosleep1

The lighting effects in the illustrations are very cool. I even like the font used.

Activities and Resources- If you need help calming your kids down before bedtime, Parenting.com and Modernparentsmessykids.com both have great activities HERE and HERE.

Parents.com has a nice article about how to deal with fears in little kids HERE.

Read a sample of this book at the publisher’s website HERE.

Learn more about the art and concept art behind this book at Mr. Cornell’s website HERE.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Silly Wonderful You by Sherri Duskey Rinker

5 Aug

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 mother’s love.

sillySilly Wonderful You
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
40 pages – ages 4+

Published by Balzer + Bray on January 5, 2016

Theme/Topic- Mother-Child/Love/Family

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “I never imagined, before you came along…that our house could get this messy and LOUD!

Synopsis from publisher: “Before YOU came along, so many things were different! But now there’s a giggly baby, a house full of adventures and toys, a million little surprises. . . . And so much love.”

What I Thought- This is a really sweet book, with gentle humor. You can obviously see the love the mother has for her daughter, even if she is saying that her kid can behave a little badly sometimes. The illustrations are simple, but they are perfect for the book. The words are also perfect, bouncing around the page, acting like an energized toddler, engaging the reader. Just to mention, I also thought it neat that the art was done by the creator of the MUTTS comic strip. Ms. Rinker has written a great story to encourage discussions between parents and their children. The story is perfect for a bedtime book.

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

Naturalparentsnetwork.com has a great list of things to do with your kids before bedtime HERE.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Swatch by Julia Denos

23 Jul

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 visually stunning.

swatchSwatch; The Girl Who Loved Color
By Julia Denos
40 pages – ages 5+

Published by Balzer + Bray on March 15, 2016

Theme/Topic- Art/Creativity

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “In a place where colors ran wild, there lived a girl who was wilder still.

Her name was Swatch, and she was a color tamer.”

Publisher’s Synopsis: “In a place where color ran wild, there lived a girl who was wilder still. Her name was Swatch, and color was her passion. From brave green to in-between gray to rumble-tumble pink . . . Swatch wanted to collect them all. But colors don’t always like to be tamed. . . “

What I Thought- The art in this book is phenomenal! It really does seem as if the colors are alive! It is a very unique idea, and I think one that has several subtle, underlying messages as well, such as it not being right to cage wild animals. Ms. Denos has a great writing style, reminding me of a fairytale. I enjoyed this book very much, and hope to read more by Ms. Denos!

swatch

Activities and Resources- Funathomewithkids.com has a great activity on ways to finger paint with children HERE. I think the activity will go great with the book!

For a full preview of the book, visit the HarperCollins website HERE.

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

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Sophie’s Squash Go to School by Pat Zietlow Miller

1 Jul

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 sometimes it takes a bit of work to grow a friend.

squash2Sophie’s Squash Go to School
Written by Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
40 pages – ages 5+

Published by Schwartz & Wade on June 28, 2016

Theme/Topic- Making friends

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “On the first day of school, Sophie peeked into her classroom.”

Synopsis from publisher: “This charming sequel to the beloved Sophie’s Squash is the perfect antidote to the back-to-school jitters. Sophie goes to school for the first time and has no interest in making friends that aren’t squash. Here’s a gently humorous read-aloud that proves that making friends, just like growing squash, takes time.

On Sophie’s first day of school, nobody appreciates her two best friends, Bonnie and Baxter, baby squash that she grew in her garden. Even worse, one classmate, Steven Green, won’t leave Sophie alone. He sits by her at circle time. He plays near her during recess. And he breathes on her while she paints. Steven just wants to be friends, but Sophie isn’t interested. Still, Sophie knows that her squash friends won’t last forever. Maybe it would be nice to have some human friends after all. . . .”

What I Thought- Ms. Miller did a fabulous job with this sequel to Sophie’s Squash! I enjoyed the way it dealt with making new friends, showing the Sophie was perfectly fine without human friends (or so she thought), but when Bonnie and Baxter need to get planted in the ground, she gets lonely. I thought that that was a marvelous idea. Ms. Wilsdorf’s illustrations are perfect for the book, with a soft glow created from the watercolors. This is a great picture book about friendship!

Activities and Resources- You can visit Parentingscience.com to read an article about helping your kids make friends HERE.

You can visit Vegetable-gardening-online.com to read an article about growing your own butternut squash HERE!

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

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